Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has this week chosen to back Trump’s many efforts to challenge the results of the election. Despite Biden moving ahead with his transition team ahead of a transfer of power in January, Trump continues to refuse to concede and instead is concentrating on a wave of litigation in hopes of overturning the expected result.
Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell failed to congratulate Biden for his victory, instead choosing to back Trump and argue that the president was “100 per cent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options”.
“The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the president,” he added.
“What it says about America is that until the Electoral College votes, anyone who is running for office can exhaust concerns about counting in any court of appropriate jurisdiction,” McConnell said when asked what it says about America that world leaders have congratulated Biden but Republicans refuse to accept the result of the election.
“It’s not unusual, it should not be alarming. At some point here we’ll find out finally who was certified in each of these states and the Electoral College will determine the winner and that person will be sworn in on January 20. No reason for alarm.
“I don’t think anything that’s occurred so far interrupts an ordinary process of moving through the various steps that I indicated and allowing … If there is a new administration, to work through the transition. All of these steps will be taken at the appropriate time,” he continued.
McConnell’s latest assertions are indicative of the attitudes of the majority of Republican lawmakers, who as of yet are not ready to give up on Trump and move on with the accepted result of the 2020 election. Republican officials continue to mirror Trump’s baseless claims and stance that the election was won as a result of mass voter fraud.
Last week, however, Susan Collins became just the fourth Republican senator to publicly accept Biden’s victory and congratulate the Democrat on election. Collins made history herself in the election, gaining victory in Maine for the fifth successive term. Other Republicans are either claiming it is too early to call the winner, while others are fully backing Trump’s voter fraud claims.
“I think if you’re a Republican in the Senate today, if you’re a Republican in the Congress today, there are incredible opportunities out there as we look at what voters said, what voters said they didn’t want but also what voters clearly said they do want,” McConnell continued.
“They want more opportunity, they want more fairness, they want a strong economy, they don’t want the regulators to regulate us out of business. We want every regulation we need and not a single regulation we don’t need,” he said.
“They’d like to see what happened in the first three years of the Trump administration continue to happen. That’s a message that we all need to pay close attention to. High employment numbers, low unemployment numbers among every group in America and voters defied every predictor when they came to the polling place and said, “This is what we want to see more of.”
The transition process has as yet not officially begun as Emily Murphy, the Trump-appointed head of the General Services Administration, has not yet signed the appropriate letter. This refusal to sign the letter days after networks everywhere have called the election, as well as Trump and other Republicans’ continuing voter fraud claims, raises concern about the transition between administrations and if it will be completed peacefully and on time. The GSA is due to hand over millions of dollars and access to various buildings to the Biden transition team but has only said it is continuing to adhere to ‘all requirements under the law’.
“There are lots of litigation, even beyond our litigation. There’s a tremendous amount of litigation generally because of how unfair this process was, and I predicted that,” Trump said in a speech before the election result was known. “I’ve been talking about mail-in voting for a long time. It’s really destroyed our system. It’s a corrupt system and it makes people corrupt, even if they aren’t by nature, but they become corrupt. It’s too easy. They want to find out how many votes they need, and then they seem to be able to find them. They wait and wait, and then they find them, and you see that on Election Night.
“We were ahead in vote in North Carolina by a lot, a tremendous number of votes, and we’re still ahead by a lot, but not as many because they’re finding ballots all of a sudden. “Oh, we have some mail-in ballots.” It’s amazing how those mail-in ballots are so one-sided too. I know that it’s supposed to be to the advantage of the Democrats, but in all cases they’re so one-sided.”