WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday there’s “no reason for alarm” as President Donald Trump, backed by Republicans in Congress, mounts unfounded legal challenges to President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory — a process that could now push into December.
Republicans on Capitol Hill signaled they are willing to let Trump spin out his election lawsuits and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud for the next several weeks, until the states certify the elections by early December and the Electoral College meets Dec. 14.
McConnell’s comments show how hard Republicans are trying to portray Trump’s refusal to accept the election results as an ordinary part of the process, even as it’s nothing short of extraordinary. There is no widespread evidence of election fraud; state officials say the elections ran smoothly. The delay has the potential to upend civic norms, impede Biden’s transition to the White House and sow doubt in the nation’s civic and election systems.
Trump remained out of sight at the White House, tweeting his views, but the social media company Twitter swiftly flagged the president’s tweets that he actually won the election as disputed.
“It’s not unusual, should not be alarming," McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill. "At some point here we’ll find out, finally, who was certified in each of these states, and the Electoral College will determine the winner. ... No reason for alarm.”
Democrats were livid, saying McConnell and Republicans in Congress are so afraid of Trump they are willing to risk the nation's tradition of an orderly transition.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the president is “undermining faith in our elections.”
Biden, taking questions from reporters in Delaware, called the president's refusal to concede an “embarrassment.”