News and Music Discovery
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
We’re having some technical issues with WKMD 90.9 FM in Madisonville. The signal is currently at low power and we’re working to get back up fully. Thanks for your patience.

Trump Tells Pence To Show 'Extreme Courage' And Overturn Results

President Trump is putting public pressure on Vice President Pence to overturn election results during Wednesday's joint session of Congress — something Pence cannot do by law.
Susan Walsh
/
AP
President Trump is putting public pressure on Vice President Pence to overturn election results during Wednesday's joint session of Congress — something Pence cannot do by law.

President Trump had a very public and direct message for his vice president on Wednesday morning ahead of the joint session of Congress at which Mike Pence is set to formally announce that President-elect Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 election.

Instead of Pence's plan to "follow the law and uphold the Constitution," Trump told him on Twitter that it was "a time for extreme courage" and urged him to overturn the results, something which Pence does not have the powers to do.

The situation is fraught for Pence, who is believed to have his own presidential ambitions. Trump's badgering on Twitter sets up his wingman to take the blame when Trump's quixotic quest to overturn election results fails and Congress certifies Biden's win.

Trump has lashed out at other Republican leaders who have rejected his quest to stay in the White House in spite of losing the election, calling them "weak and ineffective" and the "Surrender Caucus." He has vowed to back primary opponents in 2022 to Republicans in South Dakota and Georgia whom he views as insufficiently loyal.

Some party leaders, such as House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, are emphasizing the importance of following the law.

That is something that Pence could be remembered favorably for, said Joel Goldstein, an expert on constitutional law and the vice presidency at St. Louis University.

"If people don't like you because you refused to break the law or you insisted on telling the truth or following your constitutional and legal duty — shame on them, not shame on you," Goldstein said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
Related Content