Trump attacks Pence for not having the 'courage' to overturn the election as the president's supporters storm the Capitol

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump arrives at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
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  • President Donald Trump attacked Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday for not adhering to his impossible demand to overturn the election.

  • "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution," Trump said.

  • Trump has pushed Pence to challenge the results while presiding over the certification of the Electoral College vote, but the vice president doesn't have unilateral authority to do so.

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President Donald Trump attacked Vice President Mike Pence in a tweet on Wednesday as his supporters engaged in violence in Washington, DC, and stormed the US Capitol.

Trump decried Pence for refusing to attempt to overturn the election, which is not something the vice president has unilateral authority to do. The president and his allies have been urging Pence to reject the 2020 results in Congress. As vice president, Pence presides over the final step in certifying the outcome of the election. But Pence's role in the certification of the Electoral College vote, per the Constitution, is largely meant to be ceremonial.

"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!" Trump said.

Earlier in the day, Pence issued a statement that signaled he would not adhere to Trump's impossible demands.

"It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not," Pence said.

As Trump went after Pence via Twitter, his protesters swarmed the Capitol building, clashing with police in the process.

The chaos put a halt to the constitutionally-mandated certification of the Electoral College vote in Congress, which is generally a perfunctory affair that occurs without much fuss.

Prior to the onset of the certification process, Trump delivered a speech outside of the White House in which he peppered his supporters with lies and false claims about the election. Trump falsely said President-elect Joe Biden would be an "illegitimate" president, and reiterated his erroneous assertions that he lost due to mass voter fraud.

"We will never give up, we will never concede. You don't concede when there's theft involved," Trump said, providing no credible evidence to back up is allegations.

After provoking his supporters, Trump retreated to the White House.

Shortly after attacking Pence, the president tweeted, "Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!" But Trump did not tell his supporters to leave the Capitol building and surrounding area.

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