Nov 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell defends Trump's refusal to concede to Biden

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) celebrated Republicans' congressional victories and defended President Trump's refusal to concede to Joe Biden, saying on the Senate floor Monday that Trump has "every right to look into allegations and request recounts."

The state of play: As of Monday afternoon, only four Republican senators — Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) — had congratulated Biden on his projected victory.

  • Top Trump allies in the House and Senate have continued to spread unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and attack the media for calling the race before every "legal" vote is counted.
  • The refusal by top Republicans to accept Biden's victory and allow all legal options to be exhausted could mean weeks of drama — and, more importantly, distractions from the vital work of transitioning government for a change of power.

What they're saying: "In the United States of America, all legal ballots must be counted. Any illegal ballots must not be counted. The process must be transparent or observable by all sides, and the courts are here to work through concerns," McConnell said.

  • "Our institutions are actually built for this. We have the system in place to consider concerns, and President Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options," he continued.
  • "And notably, the Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations. The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the president."

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