Feb 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pence's former chief of staff says Trump got "bad advice" on overturning election results

Former Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, said on Sunday that "many bad advisers" made former President Donald Trump believe Pence could have overturned the results of the 2020 election.

What they're saying: "I think unfortunately, the President had many bad advisers who were basically snake oil salesmen giving him really random and novel ideas as to what the vice president could do," Short said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

  • Asked by host Chuck Todd whether Trump's belief was due to bad advisers or if Trump was "seeking the bad advice," Short replied, "I don't know the answer to that question."
  • "I think that honestly, he did get a lot of bad advice."
  • Short added that Pence from the beginning tried to counsel Trump that he didn't have the authority to overturn the election. Pence's stance was that he would be willing to look at material sent over by Trump's team, but never himself believed he had the authority Trump thought he did, Short said.

Short noted that neither the 12th Amendment nor the Electoral Count Act gave the vice president the ability to overturn an election.

  • "It's why no vice president in 200 years has ever used that authority," he said, adding that Republicans would "certainly" not want Vice President Kamala Harris to claim the same authority Trump believed Pence had.

The big picture: During a speech on Friday, Pence said Trump was "wrong" to suggest he could have overturned the election.

  • "Frankly there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president," Pence said.
  • Short recently appeared before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Worth noting: Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) commended Pence's decision-making on Jan. 6, saying: "I think Mike Pence did his constitutional duty that day" during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) noted that she agreed with Pence's stance during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday and spoke of the need to address "ambiguities" in the Electoral Count Act.

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