After a New York Times report said that Vice President Mike Pence admitted not having the authority to block or delay the electoral college confirmation, President Donald Trump calls fake news. In a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the special session of Congress, the VP allegedly admitted he had no authority to do what Trump requested.
Earlier Tuesday, Trump reportedly asked Pence to use his power as presiding officer to do everything he can to delay or obstruct the Electoral College certification. Trump, along with other Republicans, have decried the election results as corrupted by voter fraud. In fact, some GOP members of Congress are planning on objecting to Biden’s win. In addition, they demanded that Congress suspend the certification for at least ten days in order to do a quick audit of election returns in selected states.
Trump Calls Fake News
The President issued a statement regarding the matter. It read: “The New York Times report regarding comments Vice President Pence supposedly made to me today is fake news. He never said that. The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.
“The November 3rd election was corrupt in contested states, and in particular it was not in accordance with the Constitution in that they made large scale changes to election rules and regulations as dictated by local judges and politicians, not by state legislators. This means that it was illegal.
“Our Vice President has several options under the U.S. Constitution. He can decertify the results or send them back to the states for change and certification. He can also decertify the illegal and corrupt results and send them to the House of Representatives for the one vote for one state tabulation.“
Angry with Pence
CNN reports that the President is now angry with Pence following their meeting, according to a White House source. In fact, Trump might call out the vice president on Wednesday morning during a speech at a rally near the White House grounds. The President scheduled the rally at the Ellipse at 11 a.m., which coincides with the counting of the electoral votes.
Trump expects Pence to issue statements supportive of Trump's allegations of election fraud. However, a senior adviser thinks that Pence will not be a wallflower this time. In addition, he said the VP will take on a more aggressive posture to avoid incensing Trump and his political base.
Lack of Support
During the past few days, Trump grew visibly frustrated with his Vice President. He believed that Pence can do more in Wednesday’s proceedings to help him, but has so far stayed timid. The unnamed senior official thinks that Pence is unlikely to deviate from his constitutional role during the proceedings. The source doesn’t expect the Vice President to even attempt to give Trump what he wants.
“He might say he doesn't have the power to do certain things,” the adviser said. At most, Pence can vent out Trump’s frustrations surrounding the elections. More importantly, even if Pence tried, he won’t get the results his President wants. The view around Capitol Hill is that Pence's role remains ceremonial. Pence seems to agree with the notion. The fake news Trump alluded to said that Pence asked around to check what he can do. A meeting with the White House Counsel's Office confirmed that he doesn't possess the authority. Then, he double-checked with a Senate parliamentarian to go over his role.
Trump believes that instead of playing a ceremonial role, Pence could delay the certification beyond Wednesday Ultimately, he can refer the question of who won the election to Congress or the Supreme Court.
He tweeted his belief that the VP can play a pivotal role. “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” he wrote. Then, on Monday night, he told supporters that he hopes “Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you. Of course, if he doesn't come through, I won't like him as much.”
Watch the CNN news report that says Vice President Mike Pence faces pressure from Trump to thwart Electoral College vote:
Do you agree that VP Mike Pence can play a bigger role in the certification of electoral college votes in Congress today? Or, is his role a ceremonial one, that should follow what each state’s electors already certified? Let us know what you think by leaving your comments below.
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