President Trump on Tuesday said he and Vice President Mike Pence are “in total agreement” that the vice president “has the power to act” and block the certification of the 2020 presidential election results on Wednesday.
The president’s comments came after The New York Times on Tuesday reported that Pence, during a conversation with Trump, told him that he had no power to block the certification of the election results during the joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
“The New York Times report regarding comments Vice President Pence supposedly made to me today is fake news. He never said that,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday night. “The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.”
The president said that the 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.
Trump went on to say that Pence has “several options under the U.S. Constitution.”
“He can decertify the results or send them back to the states for change and certification,” Trump said. “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.”
A spokesman for Pence declined to comment.
Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the joint session on Wednesday, but he is expected to play a mostly ceremonial role.
On Tuesday morning, the president insisted that Pence has the power to overturn the election results.
“The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” the president tweeted on Tuesday morning.
And Monday night, at an election eve rally in Georgia for the two GOP senators running in the state’s twin U.S. Senate runoff contests, Trump told the large crowd of supporters, “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you.”
“I hope that our great vice president – our great vice president, comes through for us. He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him as much,” Trump emphasized.
But White House officials told Fox News on Tuesday that Pence will “follow the law,” saying that Pence is “taking a very diligent and studious approach to his job tomorrow.”
“He has consulted at length with staff. He has gone through the Electoral Count Act several times,” an official said. “He has read legal opinions, met with the Senate parliamentarian and consulted with outside experts on the subject matter.”
But those officials add that “the vice president will follow the law. He will act tomorrow with fidelity to the law and the Constitution.”
Meanwhile, more than a dozen Senate Republicans have said they will object to the certification of the presidential election results in at least one state, and more than 100 House Republican members said they plan to object to results in Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Georgia.
But Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sens. John Thune of South Dakota, John Cornyn of Texas, Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Tim Scott of South Carolina, among others, have committed to voting to certify the election results.
Trump has repeatedly charged for two months that the presidential election was “rigged” and has claimed that there was “massive voter fraud” in a handful of battleground states where Biden narrowly edged the president, to score a 306-232 Electoral College victory over the GOP incumbent.
The Trump campaign has launched a number of legal challenges, while Trump himself has urged states with Republican governors and legislatures to overturn Joe Biden’s victories.
While the Trump campaign has challenged the results in dozens of lawsuits, judges in multiple states have shot them down. Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press last month that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the joint-session of Congress, the president is expected to speak at a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C.
“I will be speaking at the SAVE AMERICA RALLY tomorrow on the Ellipse at 11AM Eastern. Arrive early—doors open at 7AM Eastern. BIG CROWDS!” Trump tweeted Tuesday night.
The president, last month, promised a “wild” protest in the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, while reiterating his claims that it was “statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election.”
Also Tuesday night, the president tweeted that Washington is “being inundated with people who don’t want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened Radical Left Democrats.”
“Our Country has had enough, they won’t take it anymore! We hear you (and love you) from the Oval Office,” Trump tweeted. “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Fox News’ John Roberts and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.