MSNBC's Brian Williams criticizes GOP lawmakers backing Texas: These are 'grown-ass men and women'

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Thursday night blasted congressional Republicans who are supporting a Texas lawsuit to invalidate the election results of several key battleground states, saying “these are grown-ass men and women."

The lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) seeks to void the vote certifications of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan, arguing the states' mail-in voting efforts during the pandemic were unconstitutional. Attorneys general from 18 other red states agreed, signing on to that lawsuit this week.  

More than 100 House Republicans signed onto an amicus brief in support of the suit, claiming “unconstitutional irregularities involved in the 2020 presidential election cast doubt upon its outcome and the integrity of the American system of elections.”

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Williams was discussing the brief with GOP strategist Mike Murphy, who said it was “a stain on the Republican Party."

Murphy specifically cited Rep. Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawGreene fined a third time for refusing to wear mask on House floor Early redistricting plans show GOP retrenching for long haul GOP lawmaker fined K after skipping metal detectors MORE, saying the Texas Republican “knows better.”

“Some of those other congressmen do, but they let their narrow political ambition and their gutless fear of Donald Trump run wild, and now they’re getting close to the treason business. It is unthinkable to me,” Murphy said.

Williams said he was also surprised by Crenshaw’s name appearing on the brief.

“Forgive my French, these are grown-ass men and women, these are elected Republican representatives,” the anchor said. “I have never seen people so scared of an individual in my lifetime.”

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Murphy said the Republican lawmakers have “declared a war on the institution of democracy.”

“It is massively irresponsible beyond anything you could expect, and again, people like Dan Crenshaw who served the country well early in their careers, I don’t know how they can look in the mirror right now,” Murphy said.

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Other key Republicans who signed the brief include Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseAnti-Trump Republicans target McCarthy, Scalise, other high-profile conservatives The 9 Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — US cracks down on tools for foreign hacking MORE (La.); Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanAnti-Trump Republicans target McCarthy, Scalise, other high-profile conservatives Congress may be right to cite Bannon for contempt — but Justice would be wrong to prosecute Cheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member MORE (Ohio), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee; Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), the chair of the conservative Freedom Caucus; and Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.), the incoming Republican Study Committee chairman.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyAnti-Trump Republicans target McCarthy, Scalise, other high-profile conservatives Congress may be right to cite Bannon for contempt — but Justice would be wrong to prosecute Juan Williams: Trump is killing American democracy MORE (R-Calif.), another top ally of President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE, is not among the signatories and declined to comment directly when asked if he supported the Texas lawsuit.

“The president has a right for every legal challenge to be heard. He has the right to go to the Supreme Court with it, yes,” McCarthy said.

 The suit has caused tensions within the GOP as senior lawmakers question its legal standing. 

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenators urge Biden to waive sanctions on India over Russian defense system purchase Bipartisan lawmakers target judges' stock trading with new bill Cornyn raises more than M for Senate GOP MORE (R-Texas), a former Texas Supreme Court justice, said it is inappropriate for states to interfere in the laws of other states.

“I do not understand the legal theory. I don’t want other states having a chance to change Texas law based on a similar effort. If you can do it for the election, you can do it if somebody wanted to challenge, for example, Texas law on the Second Amendment,” he said.

Several other Texas Republicans, including Reps. Kay Granger and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyEarly redistricting plans show GOP retrenching for long haul House proxy voting extended into mid-November Eighth House GOP lawmaker issued 0 fine for not wearing mask on House floor MORE, have publicly broken with Paxton on the suit.

The New York Times reported that Trump asked Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFlake, Cindy McCain among latest Biden ambassadors confirmed after delay Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it MORE (R-Texas) Tuesday night if he would be willing to present oral arguments on behalf of Texas and other states to the Supreme Court and Cruz agreed. Cruz served as solicitor general of Texas from 2003 to 2008.