Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stood firmly behind Donald Trump on Monday as the president continues to raise baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud in an election he has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden.
The Kentucky Republican said Trump is “100% within his rights” to look into allegations of “irregularities,” pursue legal challenges and request recounts in several states, declining to acknowledge the former Democratic vice president’s victory.
“No states have yet certified their election results,” McConnell said Monday in a speech on the Senate floor. “I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states.”
Discussing prior presidential elections, he went on to assert: “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. And if the Democrats feel confident they have not occurred, they should have no reason to fear any extra scrutiny.”
“We have the tools and the institutions we need to address any concerns,” McConnell added, saying that the Constitution doesn’t give “wealthy media corporations” the power to call elections.
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There has been no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Every major television network, as well as The Associated Press, has projected Biden’s win based on his substantial vote lead in several key states. Biden currently leads Trump by more than 40,000 votes in Pennsylvania, for example.
Only four Republican senators have acknowledged Biden’s victory and congratulated him for winning the White House: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Dozens of world leaders and former President George W. Bush have also congratulated Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, for their historic election win.
In his speech on Monday, McConnell hailed the unexpectedly good night Senate Republicans had last Tuesday ― the GOP held on to key seats that Democrats were hoping would help hand them control of the majority next year.
But those new GOP senators ― from Tennessee, Kansas, Wyoming and Alabama ― were all projected winners by the same media McConnell and other Republicans sought to cast doubt on this week.
It’s difficult to make the argument that votes in contests favorable to the GOP were perfectly legitimate, whereas votes in the presidential race were not.
“Lawsuits must have basis in facts and evidence, and make no mistake, there has been no evidence of any significant or widespread voter fraud. Joe Biden won this election fair and square,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) proclaimed Monday, urging GOP leaders to come to grips with reality.
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