Mike Pence gets public apology from Joy Behar for comments on religion

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Vice President Mike Pence meeting U.S. troops in Japan on Feb. 8, 2018.

UPDATE: In response to Vice President Mike Pence's appearance on "Hannity" Monday night, Joy Behar publicly apologized to Pence and others on "The View" for her comments on Pence's religion. 

Original story: Vice President Mike Pence tackled many topics in his latest interview with Sean Hannity. 

In an interview that aired Monday night, Pence discussed denuclearizing North Korea, immigration reform and his recent back-and-forth with one of the co-hosts of ABC's "The View."

Pence told the Fox News host that as a public figure, he expects a certain amount of criticism, but felt the need to fire back in the wake of Joy Behar's comments in February about his Christianity. 

"I felt it was important that I defend the faith of tens of millions of Americans against that kind of slander," he said. 

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The feud began after the actress and comedian quipped that Pence is mentally ill after Omarosa Manigault said "(Pence) thinks Jesus tells him to say things" on an episode of CBS' "Big Brother: Celebrity Edition." 

"It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you," Behar said in February. "That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct. Hearing voices."

Pence fired back, telling the news site Axios that Behar's comments were "evidence of how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people."

Pence told Hannity that he chose to respond to Behar's apology with forgiveness — "one of the things my faith teaches me is grace; forgive as you’ve been forgiven" — but he wants her to apologize publicly to other Christians offended by her comments. 

"That's part of my faith experience," he said. "But I did encourage her and I'm still encouraging her, to use the forum of that program or some other public forum, to apologize to tens of millions of Americans who were equally offended." 

The vice president also tackled other hot-button issues, including talks with North Korea and Oakland, Calif., Mayor Libby Schaaf's "unacceptable" decision to share information about a February immigration raid with city residents. 

"We need to fix this system in a way that puts American citizens and American workers first, and we can do that," Pence said. "But the answer is not the kind of civil disobedience that we see in municipal governments and in the state of California that are simply saying, we’re going to set aside a recognition of federal law simply because we disagree with it."

When asked if the possibility of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula is realistic, Pence credited President Donald Trump's "strong leadership" in prompting the discussion. 

"Well, we'll see, as the president often says," Pence said. "But the fact that Kim Jong Un not only offered to meet, but offered to cease any missile testing, any nuclear testing, and did not object to ongoing military exercises by the United States and South Korea, it was a remarkable step forward."

Watch the interview in full here: 

USA TODAY reporter Maureen Groppe and IndyStar reporter Justin L. Mack contributed. 

Call IndyStar reporter Holly Hays at (317) 444-6156. Follow her on Twitter: @hollyvhays.

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