Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday that a curtain-call plea for inclusion by the cast of “Hamilton” at the performance he attended Friday night didn’t bother him.
“I wasn’t offended by what was said. I’ll leave to others whether it was the appropriate venue to say it,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “But I want to assure people who were disappointed in the election results, people who are feeling anxious about this time in the life of our nation, that President-elect Donald Trump . . . is going to be the president of all the people of the United States of America.”
Pence, the governor of Indiana, added during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the boos and cheers he heard from the “Hamilton” audience at Manhattan’s Richard Rodgers Theatre were freedom of expression and “what freedom sounds like.”
At the close of Friday night’s performance, the cast of the hit Broadway musical, led by actor Brandon Victor Dixon, came to the edge of the stage and called on Trump and Pence to “work on behalf of all of us,” citing Americans who were “alarmed and anxious” that their “inalienable rights” may be infringed.
On Twitter Saturday and Sunday, Trump was in a far less forgiving mood than his vice president-elect.
“The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!” Trump wrote Saturday after another tweet that characterized Dixon’s remarks to Pence as harassment.
Sunday morning, Trump appeared to harden his view.
“The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior,” he wrote.
Asked about the “Hamilton” incident outside the Bedminster, New Jersey, country club where he was conducting interviews for Cabinet positions, Trump said the cast was “very inappropriate.”
Pence’s comments were a departure from Trump’s and the vice president-elect recommended that others see “Hamilton.”
Dixon, who plays Vice President Aaron Burr in the musical, had replied to Trump on Twitter: “@realDonaldTrump conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate @mike_pence for stopping to listen.”
At a performance of “Hamilton” in Chicago on Saturday night, a member of the audience seated in the front of the balcony shouted profanities and election-related political statements such as “We won,” disrupting a few numbers, the Chicago Tribune reported.
A reporter for the paper at the performance said the “Hamilton” actors seemed somber during the bows at the end of the show. The man initially resisted but later was escorted from the PrivateBank Theatre in downtown Chicago.
The president-elect also used his tweets Sunday to give a less-than-stellar review to the latest “Saturday Night Live” sendup of him. Alec Baldwin appeared in the late-night sketch-comedy show’s opening skit, this time playing Trump as unprepared for the task ahead. Other jokes that got big laughs poked fun at Trump’s business acumen and his campaign staff.
“I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night,” Trump tweeted. “It is a totally one-sided, biased show — nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?”
Baldwin responded with a series of tweets that included: “ ... @realDonaldTrump Equal time? Election is over. There is no more equal time. Now u try 2 b Pres + ppl respond. That’s pretty much it.”
Several Democratic elected officials said Trump’s tweets about Hamilton served to divert attention from contentious aspects of his transition, including his choice of Steve Bannon, who they denounced as a white nationalist and anti-Semite, as White House chief strategist.
“This is a consistent pattern that we’ve seen from Donald Trump ... where he has resorted to Twitter in order to distract the American people from matters of great importance,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn/Queens) outside Trump World Tower. “He’s the president-elect, he’s going to be the leader of the free world and he’s tweeting about ‘Hamilton’?”