I spoke in the Senate yesterday For the first time since the election, Mitch McConnell threw his weight behind President Trump’s efforts to question the outcome of the presidential race, saying Trump was “100 percent within his right to investigate allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options . ”
McConnell, the majority leader, openly celebrated Republican Party’s victories in major Senate races – victories based on the same ballot papers Trump has for no reason called fraudulent.
Immediately after him, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called Trump’s claims “extremely dangerous, extremely toxic to our democracy” and urged his Republican colleagues to reject them. “The Republican leaders must clearly condemn the rhetoric and the work of the president in order to ensure a peaceful transfer of power,” said Schumer.
Susan Collins, the moderate Maine Senator who won re-election last week, was only the fourth Republican in the Senate to break ranks with her party and recognize Joe Biden’s victory. In a statement, she congratulated him on his “obvious victory” and argued that it was important to begin the transfer of power. “He loves this country and I wish him every success,” said Collins.
The nation is now caught between the obvious conclusion of a successful, generally well managed Elections in difficult circumstances and unsubstantiated claims of fraud and mismanagement. As is often the case with Trump’s lies, they are difficult to disprove since they are based on little more than a pattern from earlier fiction.
Even on Fox News, Conservative commentator Neil Cavuto broke up with White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany when she spoke at a news conference yesterday making broad and unfounded allegations of election mismanagement in Pennsylvania.
“I can’t keep showing you that in good face,” Cavuto said, adding that he would willingly resort to McEnany if she provided verifiable evidence to support her claims.
At the General Services Administration, The Trump-appointed director has also refused to officially recognize the election results, which is a significant barrier to the transition process.
Attorney General William Barr told federal prosecutors Monday that they could investigate allegations of electoral fraud before confirming the results of the presidential race, but warned that “flimsy, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched allegations should not be used as a basis for opening federal investigations . “
Barr’s move caused Justice Department officer overseeing the electoral fraud investigation, Richard Pilger, to resign our reporters almost immediately Katie Benner and Michael Schmidt wrote. Pilger told his colleagues he would play a non-prudential role in prosecuting corruption.
In Republican-held state governments across the country, officials have joined forces to oppose Trump’s election result. Ten Republican attorneys general filed an amicus letter asking the Supreme Court to hear a dispute over the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to allow postal ballot papers to be received up to three days after election day.
In Georgia, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger comes under fire from members of his own party – mainly for counting votes. With election officials doing some of the final votes, Biden’s margin has only grown and Trump’s campaign has put increasing pressure on Raffensperger to stop the count.
In an extraordinary letter, in which no concrete evidence was given, two candidates for the Republican Senate in Georgia, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, argued that Raffensperger had “failed the people of Georgia” and asked him to resign. He replied at a press conference yesterday afternoon that he would not resign and that he was just as unhappy with Trump’s loss as other Republicans.
Gabriel Sterling, the head of the implementation manager for the state’s electoral system, said the elections were not affected by irregularities and indeed went more smoothly than usual. “The facts are the facts regardless of the results,” he said. “In that state, that election on election day this time was an amazing success.”
Trump has little control over how Raffensperger is running the Georgia elections, but the president is pleased with his ability to fire members of his own team. He reinstated that firepower yesterday when he ousted Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense. to announce abruptly on Twitter that Esper “has terminated”.
The Secretary of Defense seemed long on the chopping block, especially after publicly breaking with the president over whether to use active federal troops against demonstrators in American cities.
Representative Cheri Bustos from Illinois announced yesterday that she would not seek another term as head of the House Democrats’ campaign arm and confirmed in a letter to colleagues that she was “disappointed with the losses we have suffered”.
While the Democrats had expected to build on the sweeping achievements they had made in 2018, they instead lost seats in the House of Representatives, while taking fewer seats in the Senate than expected and not making any major gains in state legislatures.
Accusations have surfaced throughout the party, with the centrist Democrats arguing that the party’s left wing left them open to being falsely characterized as socialists, while the more progressive incumbents accused their moderate counterparts of lazy campaigning and ineffective messaging.
Biden announced a 13-person task force yesterday to lead his government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic and convene the group for a video conference with elected Vice President Kamala Harris.
In brief public statements after their meeting, Biden urged Americans to help contain the virus. “It doesn’t matter to your party, your point of view,” he said. “We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone only wore one mask for the next few months.”
Despite Trump’s efforts to dig his heels into the carpet of the Oval Office, Biden plans the first day of his presidency. However, there are a number of important national security information that Biden does not yet have access to. He has not yet received a daily briefing on national security, as is customary for presidents-elect, and Trump’s refusal to admit could make Biden’s access to federal security difficult until his inauguration.