While slamming a report by The New York Times as “fake news,” Trump said in a statement late Tuesday that Pence “never said that.”
“The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.”
Trump continued with his unsubstantiated claim that the 2020 presidential election was “corrupt in contested states” and that it was “illegal.”
He claimed in the same statement, “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.”
Turning back to Pence, Trump said the 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,” Trump said. “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.”
Trump had also made similar claims on Twitter. Additionally, at a rally on Monday for the Senate runoff elections in Georgia, the president said, “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you…He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”
If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency. Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect & even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it must be). Mike can send it back!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Pence told the president he does not believe he has the power to block certification of Biden’s win. He reportedly said it during his lunch with Trump on Tuesday.
Pence is expected to preside over the joint session of Congress on Wednesday — where lawmakers will formally ratify the Electoral College vote — and will announce the winner of the election. Pence does not have the power himself to change the results of the election. His role is largely ceremonial.
As the Times reports, citing people familiar with the comments, Trump reportedly “has told several people privately that he would rather lose with people thinking it was stolen from him than that he simply lost.”
A member of Trump’s legal team, Jay Sekulow said during his podcast, “Some have speculated that the vice president could simply say, ‘I’m not going to accept these electors,’ that he has the authority to do that under the Constitution,” adding, “I actually don’t think that’s what the Constitution has in mind.”
“If that were the case, any vice president could refuse any election,” Sekulow said.