Former President Donald Trump has clapped back at Mike Pence after the former vice president proclaimed Trump was “wrong” about rejecting some 2020 electors.
For more than a year, the former president has maintained that as the Senate official constitutionally charged with officially counting elector votes, Pence could have and should have rejected electoral votes from states that he says illegally changed balloting laws and procedures ahead of the 2020 election.
Pence has routinely pushed back against Trump’s claim, but in a speech at the Federalist Society on Thursday, the former VP offered his strongest rejection of the former president thus far.
“Our Founders were deeply suspicious of consolidated power in the nation’s capital and were rightly concerned with foreign interference if presidential elections were decided in the capital,” Pence said.
“But 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,” he added.
“And I heard this week, President Trump said I had the right to ‘overturn the election’. President Trump is wrong…I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence said.
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“The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. And frankly, there’s no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president,” he added.
“Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election. And Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024,” he said.
In an email sent out by his Save America PAC, Trump responded: “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.
“Well, the Vice President’s position is not an automatic conveyor if obvious signs of voter fraud or irregularities exist. That’s why the Democrats and RINOs are working feverishly together to change the very law that Mike Pence and his unwitting advisors used on January 6 to say he had no choice,” Trump continued.
“The reason they want it changed is because they now say they don’t want the Vice President to have the right to ensure an honest vote,” the former president said.
“In other words, I was right and everyone knows it,” he maintained.
“If there is fraud or large scale irregularities, it would have been appropriate to send those votes back to the legislatures to figure it out. The Dems and RINOs want to take that right away. A great opportunity lost, but not forever, in the meantime our Country is going to hell!” Trump added.