“I don’t think that I would go,” Rippon said. “If I or any of my mom’s sons spoke to women or treated people the way that Donald Trump has, my mom would kill me and I would be dead.”
“This would be a profile of my life,” he added, “not me giving an interview because I would be dead.”
Rippon, one of the first openly gay U.S. athletes to compete in the Winter Olympics, is an outspoken critic of this administration — specifically Vice President Mike Pence, who led the U.S. delegation in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” Rippon told USA Today shortly after Pence was announced as delegation leader in January. The paper reported Rippon declined a meeting that the vice president tried to set up, presumably because of Pence’s history of anti-LGBTQ stances.
Earlier this week, Rippon reconsidered a possible meeting. “You don’t get to make any sort of change if you don’t try to at least reach across and have the opportunity to speak,” he told CNN. “I still have that Olympics platform and I’d like to use it.”
No word on when a meeting with Pence might take place, but it sounds like Rippon will be avoiding the White House.