GOP Senator Says ‘Country First’ as Electoral College to Meet

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Senator Lamar Alexander said the presidential election and its extended aftermath in the U.S. legal system is “over,” and that President Donald Trump, in defeat, needs to put “the country first.”

The Tennessee Republican, who’s retiring at the end of the current congress, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that courts “have resolved the disputes” around the Nov. 3 vote, which ended with Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect.

Alexander said he hopes Trump now congratulates Biden, and “helps him get off to a good start.” The Electoral College is due to gather on Monday to formally ratify results from each state and the District of Columbia.

There’s currently no word from the White House on whether Trump will attend Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, or engage in other formalities related to the transfer of powers between administrations. On Sunday, Trump told Fox News the U.S. could have an “illegitimate” president.”

Most Republicans in Congress haven’t formally acknowledged the election outcome, and Trump continues to push unsubstantiated claims of vote fraud in interviews and in tweets regularly flagged as disputed by Twitter.

Some 126 House Republicans signed on to a Texas lawsuit that urged the Supreme Court to toss out the results from four battleground states that voted for Biden.

The top court rejected the suit in a brief order Friday night, which seemed to end Trump’s long-shot bid to enlist the nation’s judicial system to overturn his loss.

Trump and his allies have lost dozens of cases since the election. In another rebuke on Saturday, a U.S. District judge seated by the president just months ago in Wisconsin said arguments presented ran contrary to the Constitution and “common sense.”

Still, Representative Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday” to “let this legal process play itself out.” And GOP Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is convening the Homeland Security panel on Wednesday to explore election “irregularities” that federal and state officials have said didn’t happen. Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official, has said the Department of Justice hasn’t seen evidence of widespread fraud in the election.

“We need to get to the bottom of this, so we’re going to examine the irregularities,” Johnson said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

A few Republican lawmakers have joined Alexander in calling for an end to the post-election challenges, including Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who said that “real men accept a loss with grace.”

A day after thousands of Trump die-hards rallied in Washington to protest the election results -- an effort that ended in scattered violence, including stabbings, and arrests -- a CBS poll showed that most Americans, but not most Republicans, see Biden as the legitimate winner.

If the Electoral College votes for Biden on Monday, as expected, 75% of Americans, but only 51% of Trump voters, say the president should concede, according to the survey, which was conducted Dec. 8-11 of 2,234 registered voters.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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