President Trump is irritated that Vice President Mike Pence is not committed enough to helping him overturn the election results, according to reports.
Pence met with Trump in the Oval Office for more than an hour before Trump retweeted a tweet calling on the vice president to halt the certification by the Senate of election results.
Pence, in his role as president of the Senate, will preside over the proceedings.
The meeting Wednesday was “entirely unrelated” to Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, a person familiar with the matter told CNN. The person would not say whether the certification issue was discussed.
Pence and White House aides have tried to explain to him that his role is more of a formality and he cannot unilaterally reject the Electoral College votes,” CNN wrote.
The message Trump retweeted after the two met on Wednesday insists that Pence cannot ratify Electoral College votes from states the author claims were “fraudulently” certified.
Sources tell CNN that Trump had raised the ratification issue with Pence and is said to be “confused” as to why Pence cannot reject the election results on Jan. 6.
The president is irked by aides he perceives as disloyal to this cause, chafing in particular at a Lincoln Project ad that portrays Pence as “running away” from his long-shot strategy to contest Joe Biden’s victory in Congress. According to Axios, he would view Pence performing his Senate duty on Jan. 6 as “the ultimate betrayal.”
Trump and Pence are spending the Christmas holiday apart, with Trump traveling on Wednesday to his private club, Mar-a-Lago, joined by his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani was with Trump aboard Air Force One before Trump shared the letter, CNN said.
Spotted in Palm Beach, Giuliani declined to detail what was next. “I can’t tell you that,” he said.
Trump in recent weeks has huddled at the White House with aides and Republican allies inclined to his cause, including on Monday with Pence and GOP lawmakers.
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, who is leading the effort, told CNN on Monday that Pence joined “different parts” of the meeting. “I believe we have multiple senators, and the question is not if, but how many,” he added.