Republicans rebuke Trump over claims of voter fraud

Top Republicans on Thursday blasted President Trump’s baseless claims that the election is being stolen from him through illegal actions by Democrats in swing states where votes are still being counted.

Speaking from the briefing room, the president unloaded a dizzying array of unsubstantiated allegations about the electoral system and cast unwarranted suspicion on election workers as it appears that Democrat Joe Biden is inching closer to victory.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), a frequent Trump critic, said there is “no defense” for the president’s comments “undermining our Democratic process.”

“America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before,” Hogan tweeted. “No election or person is more important than our Democracy.”

Trump is growing frustrated that Biden is gaining on his early lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two states where the president must win. The president seems baffled that the late vote count is moving against him but it was always known that mail ballots — which are being counted now — would favor Biden.

Trump and his team also plan to challenge votes postmarked by Nov. 3 that are being accepted in Pennsylvania through Friday, per a ruling by the state Supreme Court. Trump on Thursday described these votes as illegal.

The president claimed GOP poll watchers are not being allowed to monitor the vote counts; that Democrats are putting up barriers at election centers to hide their illegal activities; and disparaged urban areas in Philadelphia and Detroit as hopelessly corrupt. 

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said Thursday. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.” 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Trump should either take the evidence he has of his claims to court or “stop spreading debunked misinformation.” 

“We want every vote counted, yes every legal vote, of course,” Kinzinger said. “But, if you have legit concerns about fraud present evidence and take it to court. Stop spreading debunked misinformation. … This is getting insane.”

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), who announced in 2019 that he would not seek reelection in this year, also rebuked the president in a tweet on Thursday, saying that his comments are “dangerous” and “wrong.” 

“A sitting president undermining our political process & questioning the legality of the voices of countless Americans without evidence is not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon. Every American should have his or her vote counted,” Hurd said. 

The Trump campaign is flooding the battleground states with lawsuits and threatening legal actions over the vote counts as his path to a second term narrows.

The president indicated Thursday night that he would not accept the final results and would challenge the outcome in court. 

Trump’s family members and inner circle are growing frustrated by what they view as top Republicans refusing to join them in fighting against what they say is widespread fraud.

Donald Trump Jr. and Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale called out the 2024 GOP White House hopefuls, effectively threatening to turn the president’s base against them if they don’t start speaking up.

“They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead,” Trump Jr. tweeted. 

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), another frequent Trump critic, released a statement calling for calm.

“Counting every vote is at the heart of democracy,” Romney said. “That process is often long and, for those running, frustrating. The votes will be counted. If there are irregularities alleged, they will be investigated and ultimately resolved in the courts. Have faith in democracy, in our Constitution, and in the American people.”

Tags 2020 election Adam Kinzinger Battleground states Brad Parscale Donald Trump Joe Biden Larry Hogan mail-in ballots Mitt Romney Will Hurd

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