In an extraordinary press conference at the White House on Thursday night, President Donald Trump offered a whirlwind of false claims about the election results, including that he had not yet been called, that the competition had been “stolen” from him, that widespread voter fraud had occurred, and that the legal vote counting should be stopped because ballots had been cast for his rival Joe Biden.
Some Republicans proactively pushed back against the President even before the GOP leaders had rebuked their party leader’s excitement about falsehoods that questioned the integrity of the election for no good reason. Some of them equated Trump’s speech with an attempt to undermine democracy.
“We want every vote to be counted, indeed every legal vote (of course),” twittered Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). “But if you have legitimate concerns about fraud, present PROOF and bring it to court. Stop spreading exposed misinformation… This is getting crazy.”
Congressman Will Hurd (R-Texas), the only Republican in the Black House who did not run for reelection, tweeted that Trump’s deceptive and false rhetoric “is not only dangerous and wrong, but it undermines the very foundation upon which this nation was built.
Congressman Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) said that political leaders in America should “accept both victories and losses with grace and maturity.
“If anyone has evidence of wrongdoing, it should be presented and resolved,” Mitchell wrote on Twitter. “Anything else damages the integrity of our elections and is dangerous to our democracy.
Larry Hogan (R), Governor of Maryland, who is not a fan of Trump and said he wrote on his 2020 postal ballot in Ronald Reagan’s name for president, twittered: “There is no defense for the president’s comments tonight that undermine our democratic process.
While some current and former Republican officials did not shy away from publicly criticizing the commander-in-chief, party leaders remained silent. The offices of the majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and the minority leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), did not respond to Washington Newsday’s request for comment. Neither Republican has made a public statement.
During a 15-minute statement to the press in the White House briefing room, Trump made a number of false allegations, most notably that the Democrats were trying to “steal the election” from him because legally cast votes-such as absentee ballots and postal ballots-are still tabulated. As the outstanding votes were counted, several contested states swung to Biden and reduced Trump’s lead on early election night.
“If you count the legal votes, I win easily. If you count the illegal votes, they may try to steal the election from us,” Trump claimed. “We won in all the important places – a lot, actually – but then our numbers were miraculously destroyed in secret.
In particular, he cited his early successes in the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia, falsely claiming that he had won them “by a lot” but that his votes had later “trickled away. Election experts warned for months of a possible “red mirage” in which Trump has a large lead in votes that later evaporates when record numbers of postal ballots are counted.
The President also falsely claimed that the Democrats were trying to “fabricate results” with the postal vote, which, despite the claims of Trump and the Republicans, has no widespread history of fraud.
“They are trying to steal an election. They are trying to manipulate an election, and we cannot allow that to happen,” Trump said. “Democratic officials never believed they could honestly win this election. That’s why they held the postal votes, where there is enormous corruption and fraud.
Several other current and former Republican legislators and officials censored the President’s untrue allegations.
Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who was the only Republican to vote to remove Trump and who did not vote for him in this election, urged patience on Twitter, saying, “Counting every vote is at the heart of democracy.
“It is dangerous for the president to go out and claim [fraud]without proof,” former senator Rick Santorum (R-Va.) told CNN. “I hope that the Republicans will stand up and say Trump at this moment