Pence told Trump he doesn't have power to block certification of Biden win: report

Vice President Pence has reportedly informed President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE that he does not have the authority to challenge the results of the 2020 election, despite the president's efforts to protest President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine by Labor Day: report Overnight Defense: Police officer killed in violence outside Pentagon | Biden officials back repeal of Iraq War authorization | NSC pushed to oversee 'Havana Syndrome' response MORE's win.

Pence told the president Tuesday during their weekly lunch that he does not have the power to block a congressional certification of the Electoral College results, The New York Times reported.

The meeting reportedly came hours after Trump falsely claimed on Twitter that the vice president “has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.” Trump said at a rally in Georgia the previous night that he hoped Pence would “come through for us” during the Wednesday certification of Biden’s Electoral College win.


The Hill has reached out to Pence’s office for comment.

Trump tore into the report in a statement on Tuesday night, saying it was "fake news" and maintaining that Pence never made the remarks.

"The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act," Trump said.

“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."

Trump said that Pence "has several options," including decertifying results or sending them back to the states. 

Despite Trump's statement, Pence's role during the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress will be largely ceremonial under the Constitution.


However, during the certification, at least 13 GOP senators and more than 100 House Republicans are expected to object, triggering hours of debate and a formal vote.

Enough members of both the Democratic House and the GOP-held Senate have said they will oppose the objection, dooming any attempt to prevent Biden from taking office. Sen. John CornynJohn CornynMcConnell warns Schumer cutting off debate quickly could stall infrastructure deal GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet MORE (Texas), one of several GOP senators who have said they will not object, tweeted The New York Times report Tuesday evening.

The objections are expected to cover Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania, all battlegrounds where Biden defeated Trump.

Pence has yet to comment on the public remarks by Trump, which follow weeks of similar calls by the president's supporters. However, Marc Short, the vice president's chief of staff, publicly pushed back on White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s claim that Pence has the power to reject the results.

"Peter Navarro is many things," Short told The Wall Street Journal. “He is not a constitutional scholar.”

Updated: 10:16 p.m.