Pence reportedly told Trump over lunch that he didn't have the power to block Congress' certification of the election
- Vice President Mike Pence is said to have told President Donald Trump that he did not have the power to change the election results, The New York Times reported, contradicting the false claim made by the president in a Tuesday tweet.
- Pence is set to preside over the congressional session certifying the results of the 2020 election on Wednesday.
- The vice president does not have the power to overturn election results; his role in presiding over the congressional session is merely ceremonial.
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Vice President Mike Pence is said to have told President Donald Trump that he did not have the power to block Congress in certifying President-elect Joe Biden, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The vice president reportedly informed the president of his lack of authority in blocking the election certification over lunch, people familiar with the conversation told The Times.
News of the exchange comes after Trump falsely claimed that Pence did have the power to do so in a Tuesday tweet.
"The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors," the president wrote. The vice president does not have the power to overturn election results, and his role in presiding over the congressional session is merely ceremonial.
Pence is set to preside over the congressional session to certify the results of the 2020 election on Wednesday. If at least one senator and one representative from each state object to certifying the state's results, a debate of up to two hours will take place, and each chamber will have a separate vote on whether or not to certify the results.
"About a dozen senators and 140 House Republicans have indicated they will oppose the certification of Electoral College votes," Insider's Kelsey Vlamis reported.
Both the Senate and House must vote to overturn the election results in each state, which is unlikely to happen with Republicans holding the majority in the Senate and Democrats in the House.
Read more: Trump's sad implosion is a good sign for Biden's agenda
According to a statement over the weekend from the VP's chief of staff Marc Short, the vice president "welcomes" the efforts of Republican lawmakers challenging the election results.
"Vice President Pence shares the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities in the last election," Short said in a statement to The Washington Post. "The vice president welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on January 6th."
Trump has not yet conceded the election and continues to tout baseless claims of election fraud.
In an email to campaign supporters, Trump denied the conversation took place and said that he and Pence were aligned.
"The New York Times report regarding comments Vice President Pence supposedly made to me today is fake news. He never said that," Trump said in the email. "The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act." (Pence does not have that power.)
Representatives for the vice president did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment.
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