Vice President Mike Pence's four years of faithful service to his boss, President Donald Trump, will culminate this week in a ceremonial act he's under increasing pressure to thwart.
"The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors," Trump declared falsely on Tuesday, lending credence to an erroneous theory that Pence can overturn the results of the election during Wednesday's tally of Electoral College votes and again pressuring his top lieutenant to act outside constitutional bounds.
His message came the morning after Trump riled up a crowd of supporters in Georgia using Pence's upcoming engagement on the Senate floor.
"I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you," Trump said Monday night during a political rally in Georgia, where his public arm-twisting was met with cheers. "Of course, if he doesn't come through, I won't like him as much."
It was a direct message to a vice president whose defining political characteristic remains his unyielding fealty to Trump. How Pence proceeds on Wednesday when he presides over the certification of the Electoral College tally could determine his future relationship with the man he has served loyally, even in moments of political peril.
Over the past several weeks, Trump has become intensely interested in Pence's ceremonial role during the certification of the Electoral College. He has raised the matter repeatedly with his vice president and has been "confused" as to why Pence can't overturn the results of the election on January 6, sources told CNN.
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