Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) on Tuesday called out President Trump for his “completely unacceptable” attempt at persuading state lawmakers to overturn Pennsylvania’s election results that handed President-elect Joe Biden a win in the battleground state.
Toomey’s condemnation of Trump comes amid the sitting president’s refusal to concede and most congressional Republicans refusing to recognize Biden as President-elect as they egg on Trump’s flailing legal battles contesting the legitimacy of the election process.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday, Toomey said that he “had a very pleasant conversation” with Biden in a phone call last week as he congratulated the President-elect and discussed some areas where they might be able to cooperate, such as on international trade.
Toomey, who is not seeking re-election in 2022, condemned Trump in light of the Washington Post’s report that the President called the Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Bryan Cutler, twice as part of his flailing attempts to overturn election results.
According to the Post, Cutler told Trump the state legislature does not have the authority to overturn Pennsylvania’s chosen slate of electors. However, Cutler was among several dozen GOP state lawmakers who urged Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to object to the state’s electoral slate when Congress formally accepts the results in early January.
Toomey told the Inquirer that moves by Trump and some Republicans endanger the public’s trust in the legitimacy of the election process. Toomey cited Attorney General Bill Barr and numerous judges who couldn’t find evidence of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
Toomey, however, also pointed fingers at Democrats by arguing that the way Trump has been “treated for the last four years by the left and the press” also factors into people losing confidence in the election process.
“It’s also important to point out that this isn’t the only thing that has undermined people’s confidence in our government and our electoral system,” Toomey told the Inquirer. “A lot of Republicans across the commonwealth and across the country are sympathetic to some of the allegations being made by the president because they’ve witnessed the way he’s been treated for the last four years by the left and the press.”
Toomey went on to reiterate that the sitting president’s unfounded election fraud allegations have not been proven in court.
“So in my view the outcome of the election is clear and that is that Joe Biden won the election,” Toomey told the Inquirer. “But I understand why people are upset and why they are inclined to listen to these allegations that have not been substantiated.”
Toomey added the baseless allegations waged by Trump are “all very very unhelpful to people’s confidence in our government.”