Watch CBS News

"We will never concede": Trump rallies supporters with barrage of false claims

Trump: "We will never concede"
"We will never concede": Trump rallies supporters with false claims he won reelection 27:38

President Trump revved up supporters Wednesday at a rally near the White House as Congress prepared to convene in a joint session to count the electoral votes, the final step before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20. The president urged his supporters to march on the Capitol, and even told the crowd "I'll be with you" on the march to the Capitol, although no such two-mile walk was on the president's schedule.

Mr. Trump repeated false claims that the election was rigged, that Mr. Biden didn't win, and that Vice President Mike Pence can change the outcome of the election.

"I hope Mike is going to do the right thing, I hope so. I hope so. Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election," Mr. Trump falsely said. "... He has the absolute right to do it. We're supposed to protect our country, support our country, support our Constitution, and protect our Constitution."

The president claimed he just spoke with Pence, and told his vice president it doesn't take courage to do what he wants.

"I said, 'Mike, that doesn't take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing,'" the president relayed to his supporters.

After repeated failed attempts to reverse the outcome of the election in the courts and by pressuring state legislatures to seat their own slate of electors, Mr. Trump is now making yet another last-ditch effort, looking to Republicans in Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to deliver him a second term.

Pence, as president of the Senate, will preside over the joint session, during which each state's electoral votes are read aloud and tallied. Pence does not have the authority to do what Mr. Trump is suggesting. 

Still, some GOP senators and dozens of Republicans in the House plan to challenge the election results from some battleground states by making written objections to their electoral votes. The efforts, though, will be futile, as sustaining an objection and invalidating a state's votes requires support from a simple majority of both the House and the Senate. Democrats hold a majority of seats in the lower chamber, and are highly unlikely to join the challenges to electoral votes cast for Mr. Biden. A number of Republicans have also called such efforts unconstitutional.

But Mr. Trump didn't stop at his desire to overturn the results of the election on Wednesday. He also said he wants to rid the Republican Party of "weak" members of Congress, like "Liz Cheney," the third-ranked House Republican and only woman in House GOP leadership. 

While the joint session convenes on Capitol Hill, thousands of Mr. Trump's supporters have descended on Washington, D.C., to attend the rally at the Ellipse, a park located between the White House and the Washington Monument, and protest the election results.

The District of Columbia National Guard has activated 340 members to support the D.C. Metropolitan Police during the pro-Trump demonstrations in response to a request from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.