Political

Trump, Pence out of sight as Democrats call on vice president to intervene

Official White House Photo by Delano ScottBy BEN GITTLESON, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence remained out of sight Monday — after doing so for days amid the greatest crisis of their administration, as Democrats on Capitol Hill call for Pence to step in to strip Trump of his powers.

In fact, the White House on Monday declined to say whether Trump and Pence had spoken since Wednesday morning, before an inflammatory rally near the White House during which the president publicly pressured Pence to try to overturn the election during a joint session of Congress being held when a mob assaulted the Capitol.

The vice president has yet to respond to calls from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for him to join with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to take control from Trump.

House Democrats planned to on Tuesday morning introduce a bill that would call on the vice president to take that step within 24 hours. Republicans blocked an attempt to push the bill forward Monday.

If he does not do so, Democrats in the House plan to vote on an article of impeachment that was introduced Monday. The article charges Trump with “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters besieged the Capitol last week; if it passes, he would become the first president in history to be impeached twice.

Trump, meanwhile, remained cut off from his followers, after social media companies banned him from posting. Other than a conciliatory video he tweeted Thursday night, the president has spent his final days in office out of the public eye.

People who spoke with Trump said he spent the weekend in a terrible mood, angry especially about his Twitter account being permanently suspended.

He has yet to condemn his supporters on Wednesday chanting “Hang Mike Pence!,” nor has he expressed condolences for a U.S. Capitol Police officer who died in the mob attack he encouraged. Under fire, on Sunday he did order flags flown at half-staff in honor of that officer and another who died over the weekend.

Trump has not held any public events since then, although he did present the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to several golfers on Thursday, and on Monday to a close congressional ally, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Jordan was among the House members who helped lead the effort to overturn the election results in Trump’s favor, including voting on Wednesday to reject electoral votes for Biden. The ceremony had been planned before Wednesday’s events took place, though.

On Thursday, Trump planned to present the high honor to Bill Belichik, the New England Patriots football coach who is a close supporter of Trump’s, according to a White House official.

On Tuesday, the president planned to travel to the southern border to tout the work his administration has done to build a barrier between the United States and Mexico.

The White House did not release additional details about the trip to Alamo, Texas. It has been building out a week of programming to highlight Trump’s record, according to people familiar with the planning.

Trump may host several events that highlight what the administration sees as its achievements in areas like foreign affairs, business and the coronavirus, the people said.

On Monday afternoon, Pence planned to lead a White House coronavirus task force meeting, according to an otherwise empty public schedule released by his office.

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