Trump is still wrongly insisting that Pence can change the election result, and he called a New York Times report that said otherwise 'fake news'

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Trump is still wrongly insisting that Pence can change the election result, and he called a New York Times report that said otherwise 'fake news'
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • In a tweet early Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump continued to incorrectly claim that Vice President Mike Pence has the power to overturn US election results.
  • On Wednesday, Pence is to preside over a joint session of Congress in which the Electoral College votes will be read out, and Pence is expected to announce Joe Biden as the president-elect.
  • Trump apparently believes that Pence can certify him as the 2020 election winner instead. In reality, the vice president's role is largely ceremonial.
  • The president also called a New York Times report, which said Pence had personally told Trump the vice president could not influence the election outcome, "fake news."

As Vice President Mike Pence prepares to confirm Joe Biden as the next president of the United States on Wednesday, President Donald Trump continues to insist that his second-in-command can overturn the election results and hand him a victory.

In an early-morning tweet on Wednesday, Trump wrote: "If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency."

"Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect & even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it must be)," he continued. "Mike can send it back!"

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Trump's allegation that several states are trying to take back their certification of Biden's win is wrong. He appeared to be referring to a false claim, parroted by the right-wing outlet The Gateway Pundit, that Wisconsin wanted to decertify itself and give Trump its electoral votes. The pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell has also filed a long-shot lawsuit to decertify the election results in Arizona, which Biden also won.

The president has expressed in recent days the belief that Pence can throw out the election results when he presides over a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, where he is set to hear the Electoral College results read out and then confirm Biden as the president-elect.

Trump wrongly believes that Pence will have the power during this session to throw out the results in several battleground states, where Trump has insisted - without evidence - that there was widespread voter fraud.

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In reality, Pence's role is mostly ceremonial. The New York Times compared Pence's role in the ceremony to a presenter at the Academy Awards, who has power to announce the winner but not to decide who wins.

This role has put Pence at risk of angering Trump in the president's final days in office and losing his support if Pence decides to run for president in 2024.

On Tuesday, The Times reported that Pence tried to explain to Trump over lunch that he had no real power to change the election results.

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Trump later told The Times in a statement that its reporting on the discussion was "fake news."

"He never said that," the statement continued. "The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act."

What is likely to go down on Wednesday is an hours-long process of finalizing the vote results in every state.

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A group of Republican lawmakers has vowed to challenge the results in several states during the ceremony and could force a vote.

But with Democrats in control of the House, the Republicans have no real shot at winning these challenges or changing the result of the election.

As of Wednesday, the Democratic Party had also regained control of the Senate, according to Decision Desk HQ's projections that Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won their Senate runoff elections in Georgia.

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