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Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win

The Hill logo The Hill 11/22/2020 Justine Coleman
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win © Getty Images Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win

President Trump is facing mounting pressure from Republicans calling on him to recognize President-elect Joe Biden's win.

GOP members amped up their push for Trump and Republican leadership to acknowledge Biden's victory on Sunday, after a federal judge dismissed the campaign's lawsuit alleging widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania this week.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who has been a Trump ally, labeled the conduct of the Trump campaign's legal team "a national embarrassment" on ABC's "This Week."

When ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked the former governor if it is "time for this to end," Christie responded, "Yes."

"I've been a supporter of the president. I voted for him twice. But elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn't happen," he said. "You have an obligation to present the evidence. The evidence has not been presented."

The campaign's legal team has filed several lawsuits in battleground states contesting the vote and falsely alleging fraud. Last week, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a press conference in which he promoted conspiracy theories and the president's unfounded claims of fraud.

Trump has refused to concede to Biden after the former vice president was widely recognized as the projected winner and president-elect more than two weeks ago.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) also requested that the process "move forward" despite Trump's objection to Biden's win in his state, saying on CNN's "Inside Politics" that "the voters have spoken."

"I mean, here in Michigan, it was a 154,000-vote margin by President-elect Biden, and no one has come up with any evidence of fraud or abuse," he said.

"We expect that that process move forward and let the voters, not the politicians, speak," he added.

Last week, Trump invited two Michigan state lawmakers to the White House and contacted two members of the Wayne County Board of Elections who are alleging fraud and attempting to rescind their certification of the vote results.

Previous critics of Trump are requesting the Republican Party's leadership call out the president for what former national security adviser John Bolton labeled "inexcusable" post-election behavior.

"The Republican Party is not going to be saved by hiding in a spider hole," Bolton told CNN's "State of the Union." "We need all of our leaders to come out and say, 'The election is over.' We're not talking about an abstract right for Trump to use his legal remedies. We've passed that."

"The more who come out and say, 'He doesn't represent us. He is not following a Republican game plan here,' the safer they will be," he added.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) told CNN's "State of the Union" that he's "embarrassed that more people" in his party "aren't speaking up" against Trump's denial of the election results.

"We were the most respected country with respect to elections," Hogan said. "And now we're beginning to look like we're a banana republic. It's time for them to stop the nonsense. It just gets more bizarre every single day."

Amid the legal battle, Emily Murphy, Trump's appointed administrator for the General Services Administration, has refused to recognize Biden as the president-elect. Without her ascertainment of Biden's win, his transition team cannot access government officials, intelligence and funding to plan for the administration.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he believes Trump has the right to challenge the election results through the legal process but added it is "past time to start a transition" to the Biden administration.

"I, frankly, do think it's time to - well, it's past time - to start a transition, to at least cooperate with the transition," he said. "I'd rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare should Joe Biden, you know, end up winning this."

Other Republicans broke with Trump before Sunday, including Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who on Saturday congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris after a federal judge dismissed the Trump campaign's lawsuit in his home state.

The Pennsylvania Republican requested that Trump "accept the outcome of the election," saying he "has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania."

On Friday, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) implied that the campaign needed to provide proof of fraud or concede.

"If the President cannot prove these claims or demonstrate that they would change the election result, he should fulfill his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States by respecting the sanctity of our electoral process," she said.


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