A handful of Republicans are beginning to speak out about President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in the presidential election, with GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Pat Toomey the latest to bat away Trump’s rhetoric as the presidency slips away from him.
Though generally mild in their criticisms, many top elected officials are refusing to echo Trump’s attacks on the electoral system and mail-in ballots. Trump complained he "won" several swing states in which Biden is leading him on Friday morning, claiming he will take it to the Supreme Court and that "there’s going to be a lot of litigation because we have so much evidence, so much proof."
Fresh off reelection to a fifth six-year term in Maine, Collins said in an email to POLITICO that “states have the authority to determine the specific rules of elections. Every valid vote under a state’s law should be counted. Allegations of irregularities can be adjudicated by the courts. We must all respect the outcome of elections.”
Toomey (R-Pa.), who is retiring in two years, said Trump’s remarks were "very hard to watch" and that his allegations "are just not substantiated." Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said on Twitter said all allegations of fraud must be taken to court: "STOP Spreading debunked misinformation… This is getting insane." And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said "every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not" and that the courts would resolve any disputes.
Still, some in the GOP joined Trump’s criticisms of states’ voting systems after Donald Trump Jr. bashed top Republicans for not more closely defending the president. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has claimed, for example, that Trump won the election, though he trails Biden in the Electoral College tally by a significant margin.
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