Marc Short, chief of staff of Mike Pence, has alleged that Donald Trump barred him from the West Wing of the White House following the vice president’s refusal to reverse the election results at Wednesday’s joint session of the US Congress.
Philip Melanchthon Wegmann, the White House reporter for Real Direct News, confirmed that Mr. Short said that he is not allowed back inside the White House as Mr. Trump is “blaming me for VP advice.”
The West Wing is the White House’s real power base, where the Oval Office of the US President, the situation room, and the offices of his chief of staff and national security advisor are housed.
The vice president’s chief of staff was seen entering the Eisenhower Executive Office, which is a different building on the grounds of the White House, according to CNN.
The Eisenhower building has housed the vice president’s office since 1961, when that office was filled by Lyndon B Johnson.
Mr Trump had publicly pressured the vice president over the past few weeks not to confirm Joe Biden during the joint session of the U.S. Congress. On January 4, during a rally in Georgia, he said he hoped Mr. Pence would come through, but if “he doesn’t come through, I won’t really like him.”
The US president had made a similar appeal to Mr Pence on Wednesday in the rally outside the White House. He had urged the vice president to stand up for the good of the country and said: “if you’re not I’m gonna be very disappointed in you.”
The vice present, however, told lawmakers that he lacks the legal powers to reject electoral college votes.
Following Mr Pence’s defiance of his wishes, Mr Trump had tweeted that the vice president “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution.”
After the violence on the Capitol, lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, business leaders and media establishments urged Mr Pence to invoke 25th amendment of the US Constitution to remove the president from office.
Mr Pence called the riots a “dark day” while condemning the violence as Congress returned to work on confirming the election results certified by the electoral college.