WASHINGTON—His heart racing in terror as he struggled to breathe, Vice President Mike Pence was reportedly flooded with panic Thursday before he realized the hand resting on his knee during a conference at the White House was his own. “Oh, thank God,” thought a visibly relieved Pence, wiping away the droplets of sweat that had rapidly accumulated on his forehead. “That was close. Just to be safe, I should always keep a healthy gap between myself and the person seated next to me from now on. But, honestly, it’s unacceptable for even my own hand to rest on my knee—it’s the first wicked step on the path to a life of whoremongering.” At press time, Pence had instructed aides to bind his wrists behind his back at the beginning of every meeting.