Pence was joined by his wife, Karen Pence, in a trip organized by minister Ed Graham and Samaritan’s Purse, an American evangelical Christian relief charity.
According to a person close to the Indiana Republican, Pence has over the years participated in several events with Samaritan’s Purse, which is run by Franklin Graham, the son of the legendary Christian leader Billy Graham. (Ed Graham is the son of Franklin Graham.)
“There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin. There is only room for champions of freedom,” Pence said, according to a source in the room.
Pence’s remarks at the time came just days after his onetime ticket mate, Donald Trump, called Putin “genius” and “savvy.”
Pence’s visit with the Ukrainian refugees comes as the Republican prepares for a potential White House run in 2024. His political activity through his advocacy group Advancing American Freedom has ramped up in recent months, including a recent $10 million ad buy targeting vulnerable House Democrats over Ukraine and US energy policy.
In addition to forging a different path from Trump on Ukraine, Pence has begun speaking out more directly against the former President, particularly around issues involving the 2020 election and what led to the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election, and (Vice President) Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024,” Pence said.