President Donald Trump, addressing a crowd of supporters in D.C. on Wednesday, announced that he won’t concede.
“We will never concede. It doesn’t happen … we will not take it anymore. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved,” Trump said. Trump added: “We will not take it anymore … we will stop the steal.”
Trump added that some radical leftist Democrats and the “fake news media” are attempting to steal the election from him: “That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing.”
The remarks came about an hour before the Joint Session of Congress is slated to convene, where lawmakers are scheduled to count the electoral votes. Dozens of GOP House and Senate lawmakers have pledged to object to the certification of key states, which will likely drag out the process for many hours before a simple majority vote is conducted.
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence is facing pressure to not read out the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden in key states.
Some legal experts have said that they do not believe Pence—or any other vice president—has much power during the Joint Session of Congress, terming his role as a mostly ceremonial one. Pence, in his capacity as vice president, serves as president of the Senate.
But Trump and his campaign have asserted that Pence does have some degree of power during the Joint Session.
“States want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus corrupt process never received legislative approval,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”
And Pence, for his part, according to a statement from the president, is on board that the “vice president has the power to act” during the Joint Session. Those remarks were in the context of a statement that refuted an anonymously sourced New York Times report claiming Pence told Trump he has no power.
“The New York Times report regarding comments Vice President Pence supposedly made to me today is fake news … The Vice President and I are in total agreement,” Trump remarked late Tuesday night.
The electoral college challenges that are expected to be lodged against the electoral votes have faced blowback from both Democrats and Republicans. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has reportedly warned Republican senators about the move, while Senate No. 2 Republican John Thune of South Dakota said their effort to challenge states’ electoral results will “go down like a shot dog.”
Regardless of what happens on Jan. 6, Trump’s comments to the crowd about not conceding will mean that he will likely continue raising awareness about alleged election fraud during the Nov. 3 race—and the Senate runoff races in Georgia—until Jan. 20, which is Inauguration Day.