As President Trump refused to concede defeat on Saturday, top Republican leaders in Congress followed suit, refraining from releasing customary statements congratulating the winner that were common among senior lawmakers from both parties when the proclamation of ‘a presidential election.
Kentucky Majority Leader and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell on Saturday refused to recognize Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, with an aide instead pointing reporters to a generic “count all the votes” statement that Mr. McConnell posted on Friday. before the results are known.
In this statement, posted on Twitter while Mr. Trump preemptively challenged the election result, Mr. McConnell had explained “how it must work in our great country.” “Every legal vote should be counted,” he said. “Illegally submitted ballots must not. All parties must be able to observe the process. And the courts are there to enforce laws and resolve disputes. “
“This is how the American votes decide the outcome,” he said.
“The election is not over until all legal votes are counted and certified,” said Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, second-ranked Republican, said on twitter. “There are still serious legal challenges that have been made, and until this process is resolved, the election is not final. The American people deserve a fair and transparent process. “
The reactions suggest that Republicans on Capitol Hill, who spent four years firmly clinging to Mr. Trump or at least avoided countering him publicly for fear of provoking an angry tweet, were sticking to those approaches even afterwards. his loss.
In the weeks leading up to the election, as Mr. Trump refused to engage in a peaceful transfer of power, some Republicans, including Mr. McConnell, gently pushed back without directly berating the president, making it clear that if he lost , they expected him to respect the results. “The winner of the November 3 election will be inaugurated on January 20,” Mr. McConnell said then. “There will be an orderly transition like there has been every four years since 1792.”
But Mr Trump’s reluctance to accept defeat and his angry, false insistence on Saturday that he actually won raised questions as to whether a high-ranking Republican would be prepared to contradict him.
Only a handful of grassroots Republicans, including some who are unlikely to face voters again, have offered Mr Biden their best wishes.