McConnell Backs Trump Decision Not to Concede Election

November 10, 2020 by Dan McCue
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gives a thumbs up sign as he arrives at the U.S. Capitol on March 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON – Speaking out on the presidential election for the first time since the race was called in Democrat Joe Biden’s favor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said President Donald Trump is “100% within his rights” to challenge the outcome.

In remarks delivered on the floor of the Senate chamber, McConnell said it’s only appropriate that Trump “look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.”

“Let’s not have any lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election,” the majority leader said.

Ignoring calls from Democrats to refute Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen from him, McConnell said “this process will reach its resolution.”

“Our system will resolve any recounts or litigation,” he continued. “In January, the winner of this election will place his hand on a Bible, just like it’s happened every four years since 1793.

“What we know for sure is that the outcome is guaranteed to delight tens of millions of Americans and disappoint tens of millions of Americans,” McConnell said. “But we also know that we will wake up on January 21, still blessed to live in the greatest nation the world has ever seen.

“And in no small part that is because we respect the rule of law, we trust our institutions, and neither of those things is outweighed by pronouncements from partisans or the press,” he said.

Following him on the floor, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D.-N.Y., the Democratic leader, was adamant.

“Joe Biden won this election fair and square. The margins of his victory are growing by the day. And former President George W. Bush, commendably, acknowledged that fact when he congratulated President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their victory,” he said.

Schumer called on all Republican leaders in Congress to “follow his lead and do the right thing.”

“Republican leaders must unequivocally condemn the President’s rhetoric and work to ensure the peaceful transfer of power on January 20th,” he said. “I have been heartened to see a few of my Republican colleagues— it’s three, I believe—congratulate the winning ticket, but too many, including the Republican leader, have been silent or sympathetic to the president’s fantasies.”

The three Republicans Schumer made reference to were Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, all of whom have publicly congratulated Biden on his victory.

Schumer went on to assail certain non-partisan members of the current administration, who he said have refused to move forward with the formal process for an incoming administration.

“According to the Washington Post, the administrator of the General Services Administration has declined to sign a letter allowing President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team to formally begin its work,” he complained.

“It does not matter whether the president is happy about the results of the election. The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark—the bedrock—of our democracy and it must proceed unimpeded. The GSA Administrator should sign the paperwork immediately in order to allow the important work of the presidential transition to proceed,” Schumer said.

“America remains in the middle of a worsening health and economic crises and there is no excuse, none, for the outgoing administration to impede the new administration’s preparations to deal with these urgent challenges,” he added.

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