- Jen Psaki condemned Trump’s recent remarks about the 2020 election.
- Trump said that he wanted former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election.
- “It’s just a reminder of how unfit he is for office,” Psaki told reporters on Monday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday denounced former President Donald Trump’s recent remarks lamenting that former Vice President Mike Pence “unfortunately” did not overturn the 2020 election. Trump also said that he’d consider pardoning January 6 Capitol rioters if he’s reelected.
“[Trump] defended the actions of his supporters who stormed the Capitol and brutally attacked the law enforcement officers protecting it,” Psaki told reporters during a press briefing. “I think it’s important to shout that out and call that out.”
“He even attacked his own vice president for not, in his words, having overturned the election,” she continued. “It’s just a reminder of how unfit he is for office. And it’s telling that even some of his closest allies have rejected those remarks as inappropriate in the days since.”
Trump on Saturday said that if he sought reelection and won, he would treat the January 6 rioters “fairly” and consider pardoning those who’ve been charged in connection with the event.
“If it requires pardons, we will give them pardons,” Trump told a crowd of his supporters during a rally in Texas. “They are being treated so unfairly.”
Several Republicans, including Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, swiftly pushed back on the former president’s comments.
“I think it’s inappropriate. I don’t want to reinforce that defiling the Capitol was OK. I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future,” the South Carolina Republican said Sunday.
—The Recount (@therecount) January 31, 2022
In a statement released Sunday, Trump also falsely claimed that Pence had the authority to alter the election results, but “he didn’t exercise that power.”
The statement came in response to a bipartisan group of senators examining potential reforms to the 1887 Electoral Count Act, a federal law that lays out the process for counting Electoral College votes. That process was interrupted on January 6, 2021, when throngs of Trump supporters breached the Capitol and forced Congress to lockdown as lawmakers met to certify Joe Biden’s win.
One method that Trump and his legal team pursued to challenge the election results involved pressuring Pence, who presided over the certification, to throw out the Electoral College votes. Pence, having no legal authority to do so, refused. The bipartisan group of senators is considering ways to tighten the federal law to better handle challenges to presidential election results and make clear the ceremonial role of the vice president.
Trump criticized the lawmakers, saying: “If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had ‘absolutely no right’ to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election?”
“Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!” he added.