Mr Pence told the US President he had “restored American credibility on the world stage” as the former real estate mogul looked on approvingly.
He also thanked Mr Trump for “restoring this country” and for achieving his campaign slogan to “make America great again”.
“I know I speak on behalf of the entire Cabinet and of millions of Americans when I say, congratulations and thank you,” he told Mr Trump at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
“Thank you for seeing, through the course of this year, an agenda that truly is restoring this country....You’ve restored American credibility on the world stage. We’re standing with our allies. We’re standing up to our enemies.”
Mr Trump sat arms-folded and expressionless during the exchange but later thanked Mr Pence, telling him: “That’s very nice. I appreciate that.”
Americans took to Twitter to express their horror at the exchange, calling it “excruciatingly, stomach-churningly uncomfortable to watch”.
Award-winning author Steve Silberman wrote: “The ritual submission and exaltation is nearly pornographic. This is not America.”
CNN reporter Keith Boykin said: “When Trump finally goes down, I want everyone to remember that Mike Pence was complicit in every Trump decision from the beginning.”
It comes just weeks after Mr Trump reportedly branded his deputy “low class” and his family “yokels” for bringing pets to the Naval Observatory – the official residence of the US Vice President.
Reports of friction between the pair over Mr Pence’s religious conservatism have regularly flared since Mr Trump took office and he has repeatedly mocked Mr Pence’s Christianity in public.
During a discussion about LGBTQ rights, Mr Trump reportedly motioned to Mr Pence and said: “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”, according to the New Yorker’s Jane Meyer.
Ms Pence’s wife Karen is reported to believe Mr Trump is “totally vile”, according to a former campaign aide.
Ms Pence is said to have revealed her true feelings about Mr Trump just after the Access Hollywood video was released, which showed Mr Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women.
Read the transcript in full:
THE PRESIDENT: Mike, would you like to say a few words?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I appreciate it Mr President. As I told you last night, shortly after the Senate vote – I know I speak on behalf of the entire Cabinet and of millions of Americans when I say, congratulations and thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you for seeing, through the course of this year, an agenda that truly is restoring this country. You described it very well, Mr President. From the outset of this administration, we’ve been rebuilding our military, putting the safety and security of the American people first.
You’ve restored American credibility on the world stage. We’re standing with our allies. We’re standing up to our enemies.
But you promised economic renewal at home. You said we could make this economy great again, and you promised to roll back regulations, and you’ve signed more bills rolling back federal red tape than any President in American history. You’ve unleashed American energy. You’ve spurred an optimism in this country that’s setting records.
But you promised the American people in that campaign a year ago that you would deliver historic tax cuts, and it would be a “middle-class miracle.” And in just a short period of time, that promise will be fulfilled.
And I just – I’m deeply humbled, as your Vice President, to be able to be here. Because of your leadership, Mr President, and because of the strong support of the leadership in the Congress of the United States, you’re delivering on that middle-class miracle.
You’ve actually got the Congress to do, as you said, what they couldn’t do with ANWR for 40 years. You got the Congress to do, with tax cuts for working families and American businesses, what they haven’t been able to do for 31 years. And you got Congress to do what they couldn’t do for seven years, in repealing the individual mandate in Obamacare.
I know you would have me also acknowledge the people around this table, Mr President. I want to thank the leaders in Congress once again for their partnership in this. I want to thank your outstanding team, your Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, for Gary Cohn, for Ivanka Trump, for your great legislative team – all the members of this Cabinet who partnered to drive your vision forward over the past six months after you laid out that vision for tax reform.
But mostly, Mr President, I’ll end where I began and just tell you, I want to thank you, Mr President. I want to thank you for speaking on behalf of and fighting every day for the forgotten men and women of America. Because of your determination, because of your leadership, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. And we are making America great again.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mike. That’s very nice. I appreciate that.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr President, and God bless you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Well, I also want to thank all of the members of the Cabinet, and I think we have a fantastic team. And next year, we’re going to go onto really some amazing things.
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