Sunday, November 29, 2020

Here’s what Republicans have said so far about Trump’s refusal to concede

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All-in on Trump

There are plenty of Trump die-hards in Congress — including allies in the House Freedom Caucus and ambitious members who harbor aspirations to lead the GOP after Trump — who have dutifully defended him throughout his four years in the White House.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

“Don’t accept the media’s declaration. Don’t concede, Mr. President. Fight hard.”

— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.

Rep. Doug Collins, Georgia

Trump even tapped Rep. Doug Collins, who came in third in Georgia’s Senate special election, to lead the recount effort in the state after it was called for Biden — the first time it’s gone for Democrats in a presidential election since Bill Clinton in 1992.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida

Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas

Sen.-Elect Tommy Tuberville, Alabama

Let things play out

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is among the Republicans who have taken a more modest position, arguing that Trump is within his right to file his legal challenges without embracing the president’s specious claims of rampant fraud.

These include many rank-and-file members in both houses of Congress, as well as people like Sen. Mitt Romney, whose periodic criticisms of Trump garner outsize attention in Washington.

Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, McConnell said Trump is “100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.”

“If any major irregularities occurred this time of a magnitude that would affect the outcome, then every single American should want them to be brought to light,” he said. “And if the Democrats feel confident they have not occurred, they should have no reason to fear any extra scrutiny.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky

Senate Majority Leader

Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana

House Republican Whip

Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah

Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

Rep. Mac Thornberry, Texas

The rip-the-band-aid caucus

Easily the smallest band of conservatives is the group of those willing to move on from Trump and his antics, especially now that he has suffered the ultimate political defeat.

This group shares similarities with other Trump-era GOP critics, in that they often are those who are retiring or who have lost their seat in Congress — in other words, have little to lose — and are willing to raise the alarm.

To wit, a group of 30 former Republican House members signed onto a statement calling for Trump to accept his election defeat.

“As former Republican Members of Congress who swore an oath to the Constitution, we believe the statements by President Trump alleging fraud in the election are efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the election and are unacceptable,” the signatories wrote. “Going forward it is our hope the nation will, regardless of party or persuasion, recognize that President-Elect Joe Biden has won this election. “

Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan

Rep. Paul Mitchell, Michigan

Retiring

Rep. Justin Amash, Michigan

Retiring

Rep. Francis Rooney, Florida

Retiring

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