Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump is “within his rights” to consider challenging results of the presidential election and has no obligation to accept projections based on vote counts that Joe Biden won.
McConnell and Republican leaders in Congress have withheld any congratulations or acknowledgement of the results since Biden took on the mantle of president-elect on Saturday.
In his first public remarks since then, McConnell said no states have certified the results of the election, even as he pointed out that Republicans won in Senate and House races they were expected to lose. ”We have the system in place to consider concerns, and President Trump is 100 per cent within his rights to look to allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor.
McConnell and most other top congressional Republicans haven’t repeated Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread vote fraud.
Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn, asked whether he saw evidence of improper voting or tabulations, said he didn’t begrudge the president using the process to challenge the outcome. “In the end they’re going to have to come up with some facts and evidence,” he said. “But that’s not my job, that’s his campaign’s job.” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally, said he encouraged the president not to concede.
“The election is not over until the votes are counted and the legal challenges are decided,” Graham said.