Bipartisan lawmakers condemn Trump for declaring victory prematurely
Bipartisan lawmakers hit President Trump early Wednesday morning after he falsely declared victory in a presidential race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden that has yet to be called.
Speaking for roughly 10 minutes, Trump raised eyebrows across the political spectrum when he rattled off states where there are still no winners as places he won and warned he would go to the Supreme Court in an attempt to stop ballot counting.
“Donald Trump is lying. He is a liar. He hopes to steal the election by cheating, but he will not succeed. Every vote must be counted,” tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.).
Donald Trump is lying. He is a liar. He hopes to steal the election by cheating, but he will not succeed.
Every vote must be counted.
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) November 4, 2020
“Let me be clear: Any effort to rush or undermine our process to #CountEveryVote would be inherently undemocratic and woefully un-American,” added Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.).
— Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (@RepMGS) November 4, 2020
Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.), a Republican who left the GOP over disagreements with Trump, said the speech was “dishonest and despotic.”
That was one of the most dishonest and despotic speeches ever given by a president of the United States.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) November 4, 2020
Few Republicans directly rebuked Trump over his speech, in which the president described the election proceedings as a “fraud on the American public.”
“This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said in remarks from the East Room of the White House.
But Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) earlier in the night pushed back on a tweet from the president saying an ambiguous “they” are “trying to STEAL the election.”
“Stop. Full stop. The votes will be counted and you will either win or lose. And America will accept that. Patience is a virtue,” Kinzinger shot back.
Stop. Full stop. The votes will be counted and you will either win or lose. And America will accept that. Patience is a virtue. https://t.co/iZr78QoPIH
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) November 4, 2020
Trump’s speech was the culmination of weeks of work to cast doubt on the outcome of the election. The president and other White House officials had issued an avalanche of warnings over voter fraud in mail-in ballots despite no evidence indicating such widespread fraud exists, and Trump had said no votes should be counted after Election Day even though that is common practice.
His remarks Wednesday morning, just hours after polls closed in some states, went far enough as to earn rebukes from consistently friendly pundits.
“This was not the time to make this argument,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Trump ally said on ABC, adding he disagreed with what the president did. “I think it’s a bad strategic decision, I think it’s a bad political decision.”
“I was very distressed by what I just heard the president say,” said former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).
Right-wing media personality Ben Shapiro was more blunt than the others: “No, Trump has not already won the election, and it is deeply irresponsible for him to say he has.”
No, Trump has not already won the election, and it is deeply irresponsible for him to say he has.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 4, 2020