Nov 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Paul Ryan calls on Trump to concede race and end lawsuits

Paul Ryan shakes hands with Joe Biden.
Paul Ryan and Joe Biden after the vice presidential debate in 2012. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) on Tuesday called on President Trump to concede the election to President-elect Biden and "embrace the transfer of power," in an address at a financial conference first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: Trump has continued to deny that he lost the election, despite his administration granting so-called "ascertainment" on Monday, allowing the transition to formally begin.

Background: Ryan's comments come as most members of the GOP's congressional leadership have not yet publicly acknowledge Biden as president-elect, arguing that multiple lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign needs to play out before the election is over.

  • "The election is over. The outcome is certain," Ryan said at Bank of America’s virtual European Credit Conference in remarks confirmed by the Washington Post. He added that the president's lawsuits "only serve to undermine our faith in our system of government, our faith in our democracy."
  • “[T]hese legal challenges to the outcome and the attacks on our voting system really need to stop, in my opinion. The outcome will not be changed..."
"[T]he mere fact that the president’s lawyers throw these sort of baseless conspiracy theories out at press conferences but offer no evidence of these in court tells you that there is not the kind of widespread voter fraud or systemic voter fraud that would be required to overturn the outcome of this election."
— Former House Speaker Paul Ryan

Ryan said the General Services Administration's "attestation is actually pretty important," but that Trump should publicly concede the election to "respect the will of the people."

  • "I really think it’s in the president’s best interest to acknowledge these things and not just have the GSA technically facilitate the transfer of power, but to embrace the transfer of power, the system we have."

Ryan praised Biden's ability to work with a divided government, describing the former vice president as "a very nice person. He keeps his word."

  • "Those of us who’ve worked with Joe, we disagree with each other but he’s not a disagreeable human being. ... He does put deals together, and that will be made much, much easier for him to operate like that and bring sides together if we truly have divided government."

Go deeper: The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

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