President Trump has turned against everyone he thinks isn’t fighting to keep in office after he lost the Nov. 3 election, according to several reports and Trump tweets, and among those the president considers insufficiently loyal is Vice President Mike Pence, Axios reports. “A source who spoke to Trump said the president was complaining about Pence and brought up a Lincoln Project ad that claims that Pence is ‘backing away’ from Trump. This ad has clearly got inside Trump’s head, the source said.”
Some of the Lincoln Project’s ads are explicitly aimed at getting inside Trump’s head, and one spot about former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale reportedly helped lead to Parscale’s ouster. Pence appears to be taking Trump’s feelings seriously. Trump can’t fire Pence, but “the vice president does not want to leave on bad terms with the president, I can assure you that,” an administration official with knowledge of Pence’s thinking told The Washington Post.
When Pence addressed the pro-Trump group Turning Point USA in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, he fed “the mirage that the election fight was not yet over,” the Post reports. “As our election contest continues, I’ll make you a promise: We’re going to keep fighting until every legal vote is counted,” Pence said. “We’re going to win Georgia, we’re going to save America, and we’ll never stop fighting to make America great again.” Trump has already lost Georgia several times, including after both a hand recount and a machine recount.
The big challenge for Pence will be presiding over the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress that will ratify President-elect Biden’s electoral victory. “Pence’s role on Jan. 6 has begun to loom large in Trump’s mind,” Axios reports. “Trump would view Pence performing his constitutional duty — and validating the election result — as the ultimate betrayal.” Pence and his advisers “have begun thinking about how to handle Jan. 6 and escape Trump’s ire, but no final decisions have been made,” the Post adds.
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