Trump responds to Pence criticism
Former President Trump responded to former Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks that he did not have the authority to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“Just saw Mike Pence’s statement on the fact that he had no right to do anything with respect to the Electoral Vote Count, other than being an automatic conveyor belt for the Old Crow Mitch McConnell to get Biden elected President as quickly as possible,” Trump said in a statement through his Save America PAC late Friday night. “Well, the Vice President’s position is not an automatic conveyor if obvious signs of voter fraud or irregularities exist.”
He pointed to the fact that Democrats and some Republicans, whom he dubbed “RINOs,” or “Republicans In Name Only,” are trying to change the Electoral Count Act as evidence that the election was stolen.
Some Republicans and Democrats had last month expressed an openness to overhauling the 1887 election law, with several changes under consideration, including increasing the number of lawmakers who must object before Congress can take up a vote on challenging a state’s Electoral College slate.
Another amendment under consideration would clarify the role of the vice president in the certification process. One group of Senate Democrats unveiled their proposal to reform the legislation on Tuesday.
Trump’s remarks against Pence were uncharacteristically measured, avoiding a more harsh criticism of his former vice president. However, they underscore a break between the two over how both viewed Pence’s role in the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
The former president’s allegations of a stolen election prompted a pro-Trump mob to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election results. However, there has been no evidence to suggest widespread voter fraud.
Pence, considered a possible contender for the 2024 presidential election, gave a speech on Friday at a Federalist Society event in Florida in which he offered a strong rebuke against the president for suggesting that the vice president had the authority to overturn the results of the last presidential election.
“There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes. And I heard this week that President Trump said I had the right to ‘overturn the election,’ ” Pence said.
“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” the former vice president continued. “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
Pence’s remarks also came on the same day that the Republican National Committee censured Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for their past criticism of Trump and their involvement in the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol.