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John Bolton accuses GOP of 'coddling' Trump while he 'trashes the US electoral system'

Former White House national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonPence, other GOP officials expected to skip Trump send-off NSA places former GOP political operative in top lawyer position after Pentagon chief's reported order After insurrection: The national security implications MORE lashed out at the Republican Party in an op-ed on Wednesday, accusing the GOP of “coddling” President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE following his electoral loss.

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Bolton wrote that some are choosing to comfort the president “while he trashes the U.S. electoral system."

“But this coddling strategy is exactly backward. The more Republican leaders kowtow, the more Trump believes he is still in control and the less likely he will do what normal presidents do: make a gracious concession speech; fully cooperate with the president-elect in a smooth transition process; and validate the election process itself by joining his successor at the Jan. 20 inauguration,” Bolton wrote.

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The Associated Press and other major news outlets called the race for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID MORE on Saturday after he took insurmountable leads in swing states such as Pennsylvania with additional mail-in votes that pushed him past the 270 needed electoral votes.

Trump has refused to concede, making allegations about widespread voter fraud that has not been substantiated by his campaign or legal team. Most Republicans in Congress have avoided publicly challenging any of Trump’s accusations, though some have congratulated Biden on winning the election.

Bolton, who has emerged as a fierce Trump critic since leaving the White House last September, warned that Trump’s post-election behavior is harming the GOP's credibility before two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia face runoff elections in January.

“Consider the competing interests. Donald Trump’s is simple and straightforward: Donald Trump. The near-term Republican interest is winning the Georgia runoffs,” Bolton wrote. “The long-term Republican interest emphatically involves winning those Senate seats, but it also involves rejecting Trump’s personalized, erratic, uncivil, unpresidential and ultimately less-than-effective politics and governance.” 

The Trump campaign has filed several lawsuits in key battleground states challenging the election results. Last week, a Georgia judge dismissed a lawsuit from the Trump campaign over the state's handling of absentee ballots just hours after it was filed. 

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Bolton warned that the Trump campaign can pursue every legal avenue to challenge the election results. However, “any aggrieved candidate must at some point produce valid legal arguments and persuasive evidence.”

“Trump has so far failed to do so, and there is no indication he can. If he can’t, his 'right' to contest the election is beside the point. The real issue is the grievous harm he is causing to public trust in America’s constitutional system,” Bolton continued. 

He concluded by saying the 2020 election needs to be brought to a close. 

“National security requires that the transition get underway effectively. These are Republican values. We will acknowledge reality sooner or later. For the good of the party as well as the country, let’s make it sooner,” Bolton wrote.