Trump Pressures Pence to ‘Come Through’ in Long-Shot Effort to Overturn 2020 Election Result
Desperately grasping for ways to reverse the 2020 election results, President Donald Trump told supporters in Georgia on Monday night that he’s counting on Vice President Mike Pence to help keep him in power.
Though Trump, 74, didn’t specify what he wants Pence to do, the president placed public pressure on the vice president ahead of a congressional meeting Wednesday where lawmakers are scheduled to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
“I hope that Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you,” Trump said Monday, speaking at a rally in Dalton, Georgia, before two runoff elections Tuesday that will determine the Senate’s majority.
“I hope that our great vice president — our great vice president — comes through for us,” Trump added. “He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”
Although Trump appeared to be riffing in front of the live audience — pausing to add, “Nah, Mike is a great guy” — the public pressure put on the vice president comes as the president continues to reject the 2020 presidential election results and push for the outcome to be overturned in his favor.
Pence, 61, will preside over the Wednesday meeting to ratify the Electoral College vote. The vice president will then be tasked with announcing Biden, 78, as the next president on the Senate floor.
A traditionally routine and quiet process, the congressional meeting has gained widespread attention as Trump and his allies have eyed the tally as potentially his last chance to overturn the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden by 302-232 electoral votes.
At least 11 GOP senators have said they back Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was marred by “fraud” and that they’ll object to Wednesday’s electoral count, forcing Congress to debate their arguments before voting to further certify the 2020 count.
An objection to the results needs to be backed with a majority of support in both the House and the Senate in order to overturn any of the outcomes. With the House being controlled by Democratic lawmakers and multiple GOP senators saying they won’t object to Biden’s victory, the Trump-led effort appears to be futile.
In opposition to reality, Trump has pressured election officials and has launched long-shot legal efforts in hopes of reversing his loss. Dozens of his campaign's legal challenges have been rejected by state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, while the president was heard over the weekend demanding Georgia officials "find" votes for him, in a leaked phone call published by The Washington Post.
On Monday, Trump signaled he incorrectly believes Pence holds the power to overturn the results himself as the one overseeing Wednesday’s ratification process. Trump said the vice president will "have a lot to say about it" and that "he's going to call it straight.” On Tuesday, Trump reiterated his incorrect understanding of Pence's role on Twitter.
Pence has avoided public disagreements with Trump throughout their time in office and has also mostly refrained from commenting on his role overseeing Wednesday’s tally, which comes about two weeks before their White House term ends.
“The vice president welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on Jan. 6,” Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said in a statement over the weekend, The Hill reports.
Speaking at a separate rally in Georgia on Monday, Pence appeared to carefully avoid committing his loyalty to either Trump or Biden, vowing only to hear out all sides.
“I know we all got our doubts about the last election, and I want to assure you, I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities,” Pence said. “I promise you, come this Wednesday, we’ll have our day in Congress. We’ll hear the objections. We’ll hear the evidence.”
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