Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Trump said he hopes Mike Pence 'comes through' to certify him as the 2020 election winner instead of Biden — but the vice president has no power to do that
  • At a Monday rally, President Donald Trump said he hoped Vice President Mike Pence "comes through" to help him overturn the 2020 election results.
  • Trump appears to be under the impression that Pence has the power to certify him as the winner when the Electoral College votes are officially certified on Wednesday.
  • Pence is to preside over Wednesday's joint session of Congress to read aloud the certificates cast by the Electoral College to finalize the vote count, and confirm the selection of the next president.
  • But Pence's role is largely ceremonial, and he has no real power to change the results.
Trump has expressed a belief that Pence has the power to influence the outcome of Wednesday's ceremony, during which the vice president will witness each state's Electoral College results being read out and then announce Joe Biden as the president-elect.

... This puts Pence in the awkward position of infuriating the president, whose support he will want if he decides to run for president in 2024.

"I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you," Trump said at the Monday rally for Georgia's two Republican Senate runoff race candidates.

"Of course, if he doesn't come through, I won't like him quite as much," Trump said, adding that Pence was "going to have a lot to say about it. And you know one thing with him, you're going to get straight shots. He's going to call it straight."

Pence also risks losing the support of Trump's fans, who on Monday yelled at another Georgia rally for him to "Stop the steal!" according to The Times.

Pence assured the crowd that he shares "the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities" and that "we'll have our day in Congress" on Wednesday and "we'll hear the evidence."

D.C. officials urge residents to avoid potentially violent protests by Trump supporters.
The local authorities in Washington are cautioning residents to avoid potentially violent agitators who are expected to gather downtown on Wednesday to amplify President Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the general election in November.

Chief Robert J. Contee III of the Metropolitan Police Department said the police had received information that people intended to show up to the demonstrations armed, a violation of local firearm laws.

Mr. Trump is expected to appear at the rally on Wednesday and has encouraged his supporters to travel to Washington for the event. Some of Mr. Trump’s allies, including the conspiracy theorist and conservative radio host Alex Jones and some associates who recently received a pardon from the president, spoke to hundreds of people who crowded into the city’s Freedom Plaza on Tuesday, one day before Congress begins the formal counting of the Electoral College votes.

... Tensions already began to escalate on Tuesday night, with some of Mr. Trump’s supporters clashing with police near Black Lives Matter Plaza, videos of the confrontation showed. The police used pepper spray to repel some of the demonstrators.

... “Protest organizations and the groups they represent have shown an alarming affinity for violence. Sadly, they have not been shy about suggesting the need for violence,” Marc Elrich, the executive of Montgomery County, Md., said in a statement warning residents to avoid potential clashes between supporters of Mr. Trump and counterprotesters. “There is talk of disrupting the counting of votes in Congress, which would require extreme actions.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington on Monday requested support from the Army National Guard for the rallies. About 340 National Guard troops are expected to be present for the rallies, and Customs and Border Protection has also placed tactical teams on standby to help protect federal property.

“We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city,” Ms. Bowser said at a news conference on Monday. “We’re asking D.C. residents and people who live in the region to avoid confrontations with anybody who’s looking for a fight.”

There were a number of violent clashes last month between supporters of Mr. Trump and counterprotesters in Washington, where four people were stabbed.

More than 170 leaders from top US firms, including Goldman Sachs and Microsoft, urge Congress to certify Biden's electoral college win
  • More than 170 American business executives have signed a letter urging Congress to certify the electoral vote on Wednesday, which would confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
  • Goldman Sachs' chairman and CEO David M. Solomon, Microsoft's President Brad Smith, BlackRock's CEO Laurence D. Fink, and Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla were among the 170 signatories.
  • "Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy," the business leaders said in the letter.
  • Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris deserve respect as America faces "the worst health and economic crises in modern history," they said.

The Trump campaign posted the wrong number for a Michigan lawmaker on social media. A 28-year-old in California got all of the calls instead.
  • The Trump campaign asked supporters to call Michigan officials on Sunday and demand they decertify the state's presidential election results.
  • The social media posts included a wrong number for the Republican former Michigan House speaker Lee Chatfield.
  • The number instead directed supporters to 28-year-old O Rose, a Michigan native who now lives in California.
  • Rose, who has received thousands of calls and texts since Sunday, said they're trying to approach the situation with empathy.
... "At first I was scared, and then it was kind of funny, and then I was mad," Rose told Insider of the phone number mix-up, which was first reported by the Petoskey News-Review. "I went through all the stages of loss and grief, because when they would call me I would say this isn't Lee Chatfield, and there was a lot of denial in them, and it got kind of sad, these people are super disenfranchised and super confused."

Rose, who now lives in Oakland, California, said at first they started trolling people who texted them — sending them funny photos of animals and food — but soon decided using empathy and helping them was more productive.

"This is part of the larger issue of disinformation, and I got to the point that these people wouldn't otherwise talk to someone like me, so I kind of decided not to change my number," they said.

They told Insider they're trying to be nice to everyone who reaches out.

"It's been eye-opening and kind of sad. I'm trying to help them unravel the situation," they said.

Rose said they haven't received any threats of violence, but they have spoken with a number of people who suggested Rose was hiding Chatfield and voiced other conspiracy theories.

Trump is repaying Pence's 4 years of unflinching loyalty by making him a scapegoat for his election loss
  • President Donald Trump is urging Vice President Mike Pence to overturn to the election result when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College vote on January 6.
  • But here's the thing: Pence doesn't have the authority to unilaterally overturn or object to the result.
  • Trump has effectively set Pence up to be the fall guy for his election loss, as millions of the president's supporters reject President-elect Joe Biden's victory based on groundless assertions of mass voter fraud.
  • Pence's political ambitions, including a potential 2024 run, could take a major hit from all of this.
  • The vice president has been extraordinarily loyal to Trump, and, in return, the president is throwing Pence under the bus.
... "Hope VP Pence understands that his Constitutional role tomorrow at U.S. Capitol is to be merely announcer, not decider," presidential historian Michael Beschloss tweeted on Tuesday.

Or as Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, put it: "Pence has no power to 'come through' for Trump."

Even Jay Sekulow, the attorney who defended Trump during his impeachment trial, said that what the president has urged Pence to do would be unconstitutional.

... When Trump doesn't get what he wants from someone — even if it's impossible to deliver — they're inevitably targeted by the president and, in turn, his supporters. Pence is poised to face the same fate, despite his years of unrelenting fealty to Trump.

Even if Pence takes some sort of symbolic stance against the certification on January 6, Biden will still be inaugurated on January 20. Republicans in both chambers have signaled plans to object to certification in certain states, which Pence has expressed support for, but this will only delay and not change the outcome.

No matter what, Trump has set Pence up for failure.

Trump's personal defense lawyer says the president's insistence that Pence reject electoral votes is unconstitutional
  • Jay Sekulow, President Donald Trump's impeachment lawyer and personal defense attorney, said Trump's insistence that Vice President Mike Pence reject the electoral results of several states is unconstitutional.
  • "Some have speculated that the vice president could simply say, 'I'm not going to accept these electors,' that he has the authority to do that under the Constitution. I actually don't think that's what the Constitution has in mind," Sekulow said in an interview.
  • "If that were the case, any vice president could refuse any election," he added. "It's more of ministerial procedural function."
  • Sekulow is one of Trump's most loyal backers and is the latest high-profile conservative figure to come out against the president's impossible crusade to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election.

Trump lawyer Cleta Mitchell quit her law firm after being part of the president's controversial Georgia phone call
  • One of President Donald Trump's lawyers announced Tuesday she was resigning from her law firm after a Saturday phone call with Georgia election officials.
  • "I have decided that is in both of our interests that I leave the firm," Trump lawyer Cleta Mitchell wrote in a resignation letter Tuesday obtained by Insider.
  • Mitchell's law firm, Foley & Lardner LLP, distanced itself from her and the president in a statement Monday.
Cleta Mitchell wrote in a letter to her clients Tuesday that she was resigning from the blue chip firm Foley & Lardner LLP, according to a copy of the resignation letter obtained by Insider.

"As you are probably aware, there has been a massive pressure campaign in the last several days mounted by leftist groups via social media and other means against me, my law firm, and clients of the law firm, because of my personal involvement with President Trump, his campaign and the White House, related to the November 3 general election in Georgia," Mitchell wrote in a resignation letter obtained by Insider. "After discussions with my firm's management, I have decided that it is in both of our interests that I leave the firm."

Democrats flip the Senate in a devastating blow to Trump and Republicans
  • The Democratic Party has regained control of the Senate, according to projected results from two critical runoff elections in Georgia.
  • The Senate currently consists of 51 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and two Independents who caucus with the Democratic Party.
  • Since Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won their respective runoffs for Georgia Senate seats, the party will have 50 Senate seats and effective control of the upper chamber because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will hold the tie-breaking vote.

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.