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Pence Calls Harris to Congratulate Her on Election, Offer Assistance

Vice President Mike Pence leads a briefing in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, D.C., November 19, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her on her election victory and offer his assistance with the transition to the new administration.

The call, the first time Pence and Harris have spoken since they debated each other in October, was pleasant and gracious, the New York Times reported.

President Trump has still not officially conceded the election to President-elect Joe Biden, even though Congress certified the election results last week. Pence declared Biden the winner of the presidential election on January 6 during a joint session of Congress to certify the electoral votes.

Later that day, Trump said in a statement that “there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.” However, earlier in the day at a rally in front of the White House, the president vowed he would “never concede.” During the rally Trump also called on Pence to “do the right thing” and refuse to certify the election results, repeating his claim that widespread voter fraud tainted the results.

After Trump’s remarks at the rally, a large group of Trump supporters rioted at the Capitol, forcing their way past security and into the halls of Congress. Pence and other lawmakers were forced to interrupt the joint session of Congress and evacuate the building. Dozens of criminal cases have been opened in relation to the violence, which left five dead.

After Pence declared Biden the president-elect, Trump lashed out at his vice president in the strongest language he has used regarding Pence since he chose him as his running mate.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump wrote in a tweet.

Pence and his wife Karen may also invite Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff over to the vice presidential residence before Inauguration Day on Wednesday, although that plan is not set in stone due to the possibility of further violence in the nation’s capital over the coming days.

Meanwhile, Trump plans to depart the White House permanently on the morning of the inauguration. He has said he does not plan to attend Biden’s inauguration. The Pences do plan on attending the inauguration.

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