President Trump has reportedly barred Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, from White House grounds as tension escalates between Trump and the vice president following Wednesday’s protests.
“CONFIRMED: Short tells me he is not allowed back on White House grounds: ‘He’s blaming me for advice to VP,” RealClearPolitics reporter Philip Melanchthon Wegmann reported late Wednesday night:
CONFIRMED: Short tells me he is not allowed back on White House grounds: "He's blaming me for advice to VP." https://t.co/EnfYIidVMF
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) January 7, 2021
Prior to Wednesday’s chaos, Pence revealed he would not decertify the Electoral College votes during the joint session of Congress.
He wrote in part:
I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress, and no Vice President in American history has ever asserted such an authority.
“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” he continued.
The letter followed pleas from President Trump, who urged Pence, the presiding officer of the joint session of Congress, to “stand up for the good of our Constitution and the good of our country.”
When the Joint Session of Congress convenes today, I will do my duty to see to it that we open the certificates of the Electors of the several states, we hear objections raised by Senators and Representatives, and we count the votes of the Electoral College for President and Vice President in a manner consistent with our Constitution, laws, and history. So Help Me God.
Pence, who was ushered out of the Senate chamber on Wednesday after protesters breached the Capitol, said that evening those who “wreaked havoc in our capitol today … did not win.”
“Violence never wins. Freedom wins, and this is still the people’s house,” he said, referring to the day as a “dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.”
“But thanks to the swift efforts of U.S. Capitol Police, federal, state, and local law enforcement, the violence was quelled,” the vice president added.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said he had “never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”
“I had a long conversation with him,” Inhofe said, according to Tulsa World. “He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for (Trump).’”