McConnell Urged GOP Sens Senators Not to Object When Congress Ratifies Presidential Votes
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and his top deputies pressed other Senate Republicans on Tuesday not to join in with any House Republicans who may object to the presidential election results when Congress meets on Jan. 6 to ratify the decision, a source familiar with the remarks said.
The conversation was first reported by the New York Times.
The report comes as McConnell faces increasing critiism from conservatives for opting to call Biden president-elect and saying the "Electoral College has spoken." He is among several leading Republican lawmakers who, based on the outcome of Monday's Electoral College vote, are calling Biden the election winner after weeks of silence.
The Electoral College on Monday allocated 302 electors to Biden, and just 232 to Trump, in accordance with the results of the Nov. 3 election. That appears to confirm Biden's status as president-elect, something that requires 270 electors at minimum. But President Trump has for weeks been challenging the results of the vote, alleging massive and systemic voter fraud tied in large part to the record use of mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.
He has refused to concede, and his ardent supporters continue to claim that Biden and his campaign are stealing the election.
An alternate set of electors has been sent to Congress for key battleground states, predicated on the hope that Trump's legal challenges, so far unsuccessful, might still help nullify enough votes to reverse the election outcome now favoring Biden.
So, with the president himself still resisting concession, McConnell's acknowledgment of Biden has been viewed by some as a staggering betrayal.
One supporter of President Donald Trump tweeted: "You have made all the MSM [mainstream media], especially CNN very happy with your pronouncement. Republic voters, and poll watchers who were bullied at the polls, not so much."