WTF Just Happened Today

Your essential guide to the daily shock and awe in national politics.


Day 1448: "Death spiral."

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

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1/ Pence rejected Trump’s demand to block certification of Biden’s win, saying only lawmakers can decide whether to accept or reject the Electoral College votes. On Tuesday, Pence told Trump that he does not have the authority to reject the electoral votes from states he lost. The meeting came hours after Trump inaccurately tweeted “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.” This statement is not true and the vice president does not have the unilateral power to alter the results sent to Congress. On Wednesday, Pence informed lawmakers that he was rebuffing Trump’s demand as lawmakers gathered for a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes, saying “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.” (Politico / CNN / New York Times / Axios / USA Today)

  • Trump-Biden Transition Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / ABC News / CBS News / USA Today / The Guardian / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNN

2/ Mitch McConnell rebuked his Republican colleagues’ efforts to block the certification of the Electoral College, saying that overturning the results of the election “would damage our republic forever” and risked sending democracy into a “death spiral.” McConnell’s speech came after an objection was raised to the certification of Arizona’s 11 electoral votes to Biden and Harris by Rep. Paul Gosar and 60 other House colleagues minutes into the proceeding. McConnell denounced Trump’s “sweeping conspiracy theories” about election fraud and said he “will not pretend” voting to overturn the election would be a “harmless protest gesture.” (Axios / USA Today /


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