Speaking in the Senate yesterday For the first time since the election, Mitch McConnell has weighed in heavily on President Trump’s efforts to cast doubt on the outcome of the presidential race, claiming that Trump was “100% in his rights to vote. look into allegations of irregularities and weigh their legal options. “
McConnell, the majority leader, openly celebrated the Republican Party’s victories in major Senate races – victories that rested on the same ballots that Trump baselessly called fraudulent.
Speaking immediately after him, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called Trump’s claims “extremely dangerous, extremely toxic to our democracy” and called on his fellow Republicans to reject them. “Republican leaders must unequivocally condemn the president’s rhetoric and work to ensure the peaceful transfer of power,” Schumer said.
Susan Collins, the moderate senator from Maine who was re-elected last week, has become just the fourth Republican in the Senate to break her party ranks and recognize Joe Biden’s victory. In a statement, she congratulated him on his “apparent victory” and argued that it was important to start the transfer of power. “He loves this country and I wish him every success,” Collins said.
The nation is now left hanging between the apparent completion of a successful and generally well-organized election under difficult circumstances and unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and mismanagement. As is often the case with Trump’s lies, they are difficult to refute because they are based on nothing other than a pattern of past fictions.
On Fox News, even Conservative commentator Neil Cavuto walked away from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany as she spoke at a press conference yesterday, making general statements and not based on election mismanagement in Pennsylvania.
“I can’t, in a good mood, continue to show you this,” Cavuto said, adding that he would gladly cut off McEnany if she presented verifiable evidence to back up his claims.
To the General Service Administration, the director appointed by Trump also refused to officially recognize the election results, a significant obstacle to the transition process.
William Barr, the attorney general, told federal prosecutors on Monday that they could investigate the electoral fraud charges before the presidential race results are certified, although he warned that “ speculative, speculative claims fancy or far-fetched should not be a basis for launching federal investigations. “
Barr’s decision prompted the Justice Department official who oversees voter fraud investigations, Richard Pilger, to resign almost immediately, our reporters Katie benner and Michael schmidt wrote. Pilger told his colleagues he would move to an unsupervising role working on corruption prosecutions.
In Republican-owned state governments across the country, officials have collectively turned to Trump’s denial of the election result. Ten Republican attorneys general have filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to hear a dispute over the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling allowing mail-in ballots to be received up to three days after election day.
In Georgia, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, is criticized by members of his own party – mainly for the vote count. As election officials counted some of the final ballots, Biden’s margin only grew and Trump’s campaign increasingly pressured Raffensperger to stop the tally.
In an extraordinary letter, citing no specific evidence, the two Republican Senate candidates from Georgia, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, argued that Raffensperger had “let down the Georgian people” and called on them to resign. He responded at a press conference yesterday afternoon, saying he would not resign and that he was just as unhappy as other Republicans about the loss of Trump.
Gabriel Sterling, head of the implementation of the secretary of state’s voting system, said the election was not flawed and in fact went more smoothly than usual. “The facts are the facts, whatever the results,” he said. “In this state, this time this election on Election Day was an incredible success.”
Trump has little influence on how Raffensperger is leading the elections in Georgia, but the president appreciates his ability to fire members of his own team. He used that firepower again yesterday by ousting Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense, announce abruptly on Twitter that Esper “has been terminated”.
The Defense Secretary had long looked like he was on the verge of a cut, especially after publicly breaking with the president over whether to deploy federal troops on active duty against protesters in U.S. cities.
Representative Cheri Bustos from Illinois yesterday announced that she would not run for another term as the head of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, acknowledging in a letter to her colleagues that she had been “gutted by the losses we have suffered”.
While Democrats expected to build on the massive gains they made in 2018, instead they ended up losing seats in the House, while winning fewer Senate seats than expected and not achieving any. major gain in state legislatures.
Charges flew across the party, with centrist Democrats claiming the party’s left wing left them exposed to poorly labeling as socialists, while more progressive incumbents accused their moderate counterparts of lazy campaigning and ineffective messaging.
Biden announced a 13-member task force yesterday to lead his administration’s efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, by calling the group for a conference call alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
In brief public remarks after their meeting, Biden urged Americans to help contain the virus. “It doesn’t matter your party, your point of view,” he said. “We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone wore one mask for the next few months.”
Biden is moving forward with planning for the first day of his presidency, despite Trump’s efforts to hammer his heels into the carpet in the Oval Office. But there is a range of crucial national security information that Biden still does not have access to; he has yet to receive a daily national security briefing, as is customary for presidents-elect, and Trump’s refusal to concede could complicate Biden’s access to federal security until his inauguration.