A handful of Republicans have joined a small contingent of conservative lawmakers over the weekend in accepting the reality that President Trump’s presidency is ending in January. The sitting president still refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and his flailing attempts to legally challenge the election results have not picked up steam.
On Saturday night, the Trump campaign was dealt another blow in its effort to delegitimize the election process when a federal judge rebuked its challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results projecting that Biden won the battleground state. Trumpworld has now lost dozens of rulings in several states, which means that there is virtually no chance of stopping Biden’s return to the White House.
During an interview on ABC News on Sunday morning, incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said that he’s seeing “encouraging signs” with statements by Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) acknowledging that Biden is President-elect.
Here are the Hill Republicans who’ve slowly come around to accepting the reality that Trump refuses to:
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
After federal judge smacked down the Trump campaign’s flimsy effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Toomey signaled in a statement that Trump’s legal team has hit a dead end in its hope of overturning the electoral result in the state.
Toomey also congratulated Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris as he outright acknowledged that the former VP is now the President-elect.
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) November 22, 2020
House Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney (R-WY)
Cheney demanded that Trump respect “the sanctity of our electoral process” if he cannot prove his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in a statement issued Saturday.
“America is governed by the rule of law,” Cheney said. “The President and his lawyers have made claims of criminality and widespread fraud, which they allege could impact election results. If they have genuine evidence of this, they are obligated to present it immediately in court and to the American people.”
Cheney then appeared to suggest that Trump throw in the towel rather than continue on with legal challenges that have been anything but successful.
“If the President cannot prove these claims or demonstrate that they would change the election result, he should fulfill his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States by respecting the sanctity of our electoral process,” Cheney said.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Upton, who characterized the Michigan Republicans’ attempt to pass legislation to overturn the swing state’s election results a “dead end,” dismissed Trump’s pressure campaign in an attempt to persuade Michigan legislators to hand him an election victory.
“You know what? The voters have spoken,” Upton said. “No one has come up with any evidence of fraud or abuse. All 83 counties have certified their own election results. Those will be officially tabulated or should be tomorrow.”
After a clip aired of Trump lawyer Sidney Powell demanding that results in all swing states to “be overturned and the legislatures should make sure that the electors are selected for Trump” — which Powell called for by bringing up an unfounded conspiracy alleging that a voting software flipped millions of votes — Upton reiterated that “the voters spoke.”
“And here again in Michigan it’s not a razor thin margin, it’s 154,000 votes,” Upton said. “You have to let those votes stand. People know the process.”
Republican Congressman Fred Upton tells Trump that "it's over."
"You know, the voters spoke. And here again, in Michigan, it’s not a razor-thin margin. It’s 154,000 votes. You got to let those votes stand." pic.twitter.com/0CPYy0LoBK
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) November 22, 2020
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Although Cornyn has yet to outright acknowledge that Biden is President-elect, he tweeted that Biden should receive intelligence briefings amid Trump’s efforts to stall the President-elect’s formal transition.
General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee who has the sole authority to green light Biden’s formal transition, has not signed an “ascertainment” that would allow Biden’s team to contact federal agencies ahead of the President-elect’s inauguration in January.
Cornyn suggested that VP-elect Harris should use her position on the Senate Intelligence committee to her advantage in the meantime so that she can help Biden’s transition amid Trump’s stonewalling. However, classified information is shared during Senate Intelligence briefings.
I agree briefings should occur. Just a note: Senator Harris is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and has been present during classified briefings post Nov. 3rd. https://t.co/QGebAPcUKs
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) November 22, 2020
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Cramer demanded that it’s time for the Trump administration to begin cooperating with Biden’s transition team, despite how he vehemently defended Trump’s attempts to legally challenge the President-elect’s legitimate election victory, during an interview on “Meet the Press.”
Although he denied the notion that Trump has hit a dead end on his legal options, and has not come around to acknowledging that Biden is the President-elect, Cramer argued that it’s in the best interest of the country for Biden’s formal transition process to begin.
“It’s past time to start a transition, to at least cooperate with a transition,” Cramer said. “I’d rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare should Joe Biden end up winning this, but in the meantime, he’s just exercising his legal options.”
Cramer also refuted concerns that Trump’s refusal to concede undermines democracy.
“I don’t know why we are so easily offended by a president that is carrying out all his legal options in court,” Cramer said. “Everyone ought to calm down a little bit, I don’t see this as an attack on our democracy.”