Donald Trump is taking out his anger over the election on Vice President Mike Pence for not doing enough to overturn the results as a Tuesday report indicates White House Counsel Pat Cipollone could be the next to go.
In the final days before ending his term, the president has mainly targeted his outrage over his election loss to on Pence, Cipollone, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, several top officials told Axios.
Trump has complained that Pence is not fighting hard enough to overturn the election, a source who spoke to the president said.
The same source claims a Lincoln Project ad that suggests Pence is ‘backing away’ from Trump has gotten into the president’s head and made him more paranoid about his relationship with the vice president.
On January 6, Pence – as president of the Senate – will oversee Congress voting to certify the Electoral College results and will ultimately preside over the Republican lawmaker challenge to the votes in five key swing states.
President Donald Trump is privately lashing out at Vice President Mike Pence, claiming his No. 2 isn’t fighting hard enough to overturn the election results
Insiders also suspect White House Counsel Pat Cipollone could be the next fired in the midst of Trump’s ire – and they fear the president would replace him with a fringe loyalist
His role, according to people who have discussed the matter with Trump, is looming in the president’s mind. By Pence performing his constitutional duty to certify the electors’ votes, Trump would view his No. 2 as betraying him.
The president’s patience is also running thin with Cipollone, and some supporters of the White House counsel are concerned that Trump is considering firing him just days before leaving office and replacing him with a loyalist.
As the certification of Joe Biden’s win approaches, Trump is increasing lashing out at those around him as it becomes clearer his path toward overturning the election results is slim-to-none.
Trump’s team has launched several federal and state-wide legal challenges in an attempt to discredit Biden’s Electoral College victory of 306-232. Most challenges have been tossed out – several without ever being heard by the court in question.
Source indicate Trump is only surrounding himself now with those who egg on his bid to overturn the election, distancing himself from anyone who doesn’t agree that voting machine errors and Democratic cheating were behind his reelection loss.
The president held a meeting in the Oval Office Monday night with a group of GOP ultra-lotalists in the House on the plan to officially challenge electors’ votes on Janaury 6 – despite Trump himself acknowledging privately the plan in more of a symbolic protest bound to lose.
Gathered for the meeting were Republican Representatives Mo Brooks of Alabama, Jody Hice of Georgia, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Andy Biggs of Arizona.
Georgia Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon follower, and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani were also at the meeting at the White House.
Brooks is leading the effort to challenge the Electoral College outcome, with Greene immediately jumping on board with the plan.
No GOP senator has yet fully jumped on board with the challenge, which is needed to officially force deliberations on the matter and potentially launch a vote on whether to accept a specific state’s Electoral College votes.
Also in Trump’s line-of-fire is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene says should support a challenge to the Electoral College votes on January 6
She also tweeted a chart Trump’s assistant sent to Republicans suggesting the president campaigning for McConnell boosted his ratings in Kentucky and were responsible for the Senate majority leader’s successful reelection in November
Greene also tweeted Monday afternoon an attack on McConnell – further indicating that, for some reason, he is a target of ire over the election results.
‘@senatemajldr should support @realDonaldTrump and join our objection on Jan 6th!’ she tweeted.’Look at how much President Trump’s endorsement tweet helped him!’
The incoming lawmaker included a graph showing McConnell’s popularity in Kentucky, his home state, growing after the president issued a positive tweet about him. The graph suggests Trump was somehow responsible for the Senate majority leader’s reelection win in November.
Axios reported Monday that Trump had his personal assistant email Republican lawmakers the slide, claiming McConnell was ‘the first one off the ship.’