WASHINGTON, DC -- In his first tweet of Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump continued to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election -- which Pence cannot do, as he has no such unilateral power under congressional rules that govern the count.
Trump continued to peddle his claims of election fraud — which have been dismissed by federal courts and his own Justice Department — telling Pence, "Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!"
"All Mike Pence has to do is send them back to the States, AND WE WIN,” Trump falsely claimed.
Pence’s role in certifying the Electoral College vote during a joint session of lawmakers is largely ceremonial, something he explained to Trump during a meeting Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the nation’s capital is bracing for protests as Trump supporters convene for a rally in Washington, D.C.
Trump “lashed out” at Pence when he spoke Wednesday at what was called a “Save America Rally” from the Ellipse park just beside the White House.
Later Wednesday, a showdown loomed in Congress as a handful of Republican lawmakers are expected to challenge the officially certified electoral votes of several battleground states.
Majorities in both chambers are required to reject the will of voters, but enough Republican lawmakers have said they will join with Democrats to reject the last-ditch move by Trump allies.
Trump also took aim at Republican members of Congress who refused to join him in his effort to contest the results of the November election he lost.
Trump on Wednesday told the large crowd of supporters gathered on the Ellipse that they needed to vote these Republicans out of office by putting up challengers in primary elections to push them out.
“If they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight,” Trump said, calling the Republicans who aren’t siding with him “weak.”
Earlier, he named and praised Republicans who had pledged to contest the electoral votes of some states when they come up for approval on Capitol Hill.
His supporters, who braved chilly, windy conditions, chanted “Fight for Trump!”