A number of prominent conservatives have been pushing back against President Donald Trump as he attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the election by falsely declaring victory before the ballots were counted and pledging to shut down vote tallying through the courts.
Several GOP lawmakers on Wednesday morning took aim at Trump’s evidence-free claim that there was “major fraud” in the voting process.
“Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) told the Salt Lake Tribune that “it’s best for everyone to step back from the spin and allow the vote counters to do their job.”
Then Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) became the third Republican senator to speak out.
“Under our Constitution, state legislatures set the rules & states administer our elections. We should respect that process and ensure that all ballots cast in accordance with state laws are counted,” he said in a statement. “It’s that simple.”
“Stop. Full stop,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) tweeted in response to Trump’s post. “The votes will be counted and you will either win or lose. And America will accept that.”
Ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), one of Trump’s top allies, said during an appearance on ABC News on election night, “I speak as a former U.S. Attorney, there is no basis to make the argument tonight.”
“There just isn’t,” he continued. “I disagree with what he did tonight.”
GOP strategist Karl Rove asserted on Fox News that Trump “has the bigger hand to play here, and the bigger hand to play is to have confidence in the system.”
“Nobody’s going to be able to create large numbers of fake votes and somehow submit them into the system,” he said.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that he was “very distressed” by the President’s remarks.
“The idea of using the word ‘fraud,’ that there’s fraud being committed by people counting votes, I think is wrong,” Santorum said.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a top elections attorney for Republicans, similarly described it as a “distressing moment” for him during a CNN interview.
“What the President said tonight is not only unprecedented and it not only lacks any basis in the law, it really is a disservice to all the other men and women who are on the ballot as Republicans today,” the lawyer stated.