Ads by Google Ads by Google

VP Pence briefly in Am Samoa

Vice President Mike Pence stands with his wife Karen as they pose for a photo with officials and U.S. service members during a refueling stop in Pago Pago, American Samoa, Monday, April 24, 2017. Pence stopped in American Samoa after leaving Australia en route to Hawaii. (AP Photo/Ken Thomas)

US Vice President Michael Richard "Mike" Pence arrived in American Samoa yesterday, afternoon, for a flying visit, on his way to Honolulu, Hawai’i. During his brief stop, he did not leave the airport, as announced by Congresswoman Aumua Amata in her press release.

Samoa News was told  by one of the soldiers that was a part of the troops Pence reviewed when he disembarked — the VP spoke briefly to military personnel and said a few words inside the VIP lounge to government and military officials that gathered, which included Gov. Lolo M. Moliga.

He did leave the VIP area very briefly — like two minutes — to meet people outside in the crowd, and then returned to the area.

It is not known if an ava ceremony was performed during Pence’s visit, Samoa News was told it did not happen, but he did dedicate the the Veterans Administration outpatient clinic to the memory of the late Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, who passed away in February at his home in Utah. Samoa News had reported that  the dedication was to be centerpiece of the VP’s visit, according to Amata.

The Leone and Tafuna High School swing choirs apparently had to go through a TSA screening, to be a part of the entertainment planned for the vice president, but actually did not meet the VP, nor perform for him.

A Facebook post said they were set up in the department lounge and performed there, while the VIPs, Pence included, sat in the Fale Samoa.

The post noted that when Pence and entourage left, the swing choirs performed for friends and families who were sitting in the tents and “cheering us on.”

Editor's note:  Samoa News reporters and photographers were barred from the area.