Donald Trump on Tuesday night disputed a report in the New York Times that Vice President Mike Pence had told the president that “he did not believe he had the power to block congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the presidential election despite Mr. Trump’s baseless insistence that he did.”
Pence is set to oversee certification of the election results on Wednesday. A coalition of Republican congressional allies is expected to object to those results amid that certification process.
Said Trump in a statement: “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. 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.”
Trump also tweeted on Wednesday: “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!”
Trump’s tweet was appended with a “disputed” tag by Twitter.
Vice President Mike Pence does not have the power to do Trump’s bidding in this case.
The NYT adds: “Even as he sought to make clear that he does not have the power Mr. Trump seems to think he has, Mr. Pence also indicated to the president that he would keep studying the issue up until the final hours before the joint session of Congress begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to the people briefed on their conversation. One option being considered, according to a person close to Mr. Trump, was having Mr. Pence acknowledge the president’s claims about election fraud in some form during one or more of the Senate debates about the results from particular states before the certification.”