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Mike Pence rejects false election claim


U.S. former Vice President Mike Pence sits for an onstage interview after his remarks on abortion, ahead of Supreme Court arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case involving a Mississippi abortion law, at the National Press Club in Washington, November 30, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Former Vice President Michael Pence said Friday that his former boss, ex-President Donald Trump, is “wrong” to claim that he could have overturned the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” he said in a speech to a gathering of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group. “There are those in our party who believe that, as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, that I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes.”

“The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone,” he added. “And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”

Pence’s remarks represent the harshest language to date by the former vice president against Trump, who has repeatedly spread false claims about President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Pence’s comments came just days after Trump blasted him for failing to overturn the results of the 2020 contest when Congress tallied states’ votes.

“If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had ‘absolutely no right’ to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election?” Trump said in a statement Sunday evening.

“Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away,” Trump added earlier in the week.

The two men are both considered potential contenders for the Republican nomination in 2024 and could face each other in a future primary contest.

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Pence on Friday described the events of Jan. 6, 2021 as “a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol,” when hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the building and halted the process of transferring power to Biden.

Prior to the riot, Trump had heaped pressure on Pence to “do the right thing” and send electoral votes “back to the states to recertify,” claiming that if Pence “does the right thing, we win the election.” Pence refused to reject the Electoral College votes, saying in a letter that he believed he did not have the power.

During the ensuing riot, the pro-Trump rioters chanted, “Hang Mike Pence,” as others displayed a noose outside the building. Trump later defended those rioters, saying, “It’s common sense that you’re supposed to protect. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right?…


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