President Trump’s iron grip on his party has inspired love for him among some Republican lawmakers and fear, among others. Neither group will tell him it‘s time to concede defeat – or at the very least, to stop spreading assertions about the integrity of national elections that contradict considerable evidence.
The dynamics help explain why, days after Joseph R. Biden Jr. was declared the election winner, even Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, refused to acknowledge the result. Instead, senators tiptoed around – or in some cases blindly ignored – the reality of Mr. Trump’s loss and the lack of evidence to suggest widespread electoral fraud or irregularities that could reverse that result.
As of Monday night, only a few Republican senators known to dislike Mr. Trump – Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – had acknowledged Mr. Biden’s victory.
Republican House Leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, insisted Mr. Trump was right to challenge the election results.
“Every legal challenge must be heard,” said Mr. McCarthy. “Then and only then, America decides who won the race.”
Thirty-one former Republican members of Congress – many of whom are staunch critics of the president – on Monday denounced Mr. Trump’s allegations in an open letter calling on him to accept the election results.