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Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration

Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday repeated false claims that President Biden did not “legitimately” win the 2020 presidential election even as the Democrat prepared to take the oath of office at his inauguration ceremony. 

Limbaugh, a vocal supporter of former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE, said he believed Democrats, “know that this is something that’s been arranged rather than legitimately sought and won.” 

Limbaugh later stated: "They have not legitimately won it," referring to the presidential election.

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The repeated claims from Limbaugh, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump, come after a mob attacked the Capitol as lawmakers certified the Electoral College votes, and after top Republicans have acknowledged Biden’s win.

Five people died as a result of the Capitol melee, when a mob marauded through the building after being egged on by the former president. Dozens of arrests have taken place since the incident.

Many in the mob believed conspiracy theories that the election had not really been won by Biden. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Klain on Harris breaking tie: 'Every time she votes, we win' How to pass legislation in the Senate without eliminating the filibuster MORE (R-Ky.) congratulated Biden on his win in December after the Electoral College officially voted to confirm his win. 

"Our country has, officially, a president-elect and a vice president-elect,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor. 

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McConnell in another floor speech shortly before the mob attack said that Biden's win was not particularly close.

Several other top Republicans, including Sens. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal MORE (Texas), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMurkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy Republicans, please save your party MORE (Maine) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China DeSantis's rising GOP profile fuels 2024 talk MORE (Fla.), have also recognized Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. 

Former GOP Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGeorgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Kelly Loeffler's WNBA team sold after players' criticism MORE (Ga.), who was defeated in her runoff election by Sen. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockKlain on Harris breaking tie: 'Every time she votes, we win' Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks MORE (D-Ga.), following the violent mob at the Capitol dropped her plan to object to a slate of Electoral College votes, saying from the Senate floor that she could not "in good conscience" vote to reject the votes for Biden after witnessing “the lawlessness and siege of the halls of Congress.” 

Yet many Americans believe conspiracy theories about the election, in part because Trump as president promoted them with the aid of allies in the right-wing news media.

Pew Research Center poll released last week found that 65 percent of voters believe Biden “received the most votes cast by eligible voters in enough states to win the election," with 54 percent saying he "definitely" did. However, 34 percent claimed Trump was "definitely or probably" the actual winner, despite the fact that Biden won the election with more than 300 electoral votes. Biden also won more than 7 million more votes than Trump in the popular vote.

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Trump himself for the first time acknowledged electoral defeat in recorded remarks issued on Twitter the day following the mob attack, saying there would be a peaceful transfer of power to a new administration. 

Limbaugh’s remarks come after Cumulus Media earlier this month issued a directive to its hosts that they must stop spreading conspiracy theories regarding the election. 

Brian Philips, the company’s executive vice president, went on to say Cumulus and its program syndication branch, Westwood One, “will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.’ ”

“If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately,” he added.

Limbaugh, who is broadcast on numerous Cumulus stations but is syndicated by Premiere Networks, is not subject to the directive, though the order does apply to other hosts such as Mark LevinMark Reed LevinTrump to appear on conservative networks in wake of Limbaugh's death Rush Limbaugh dead at 70 Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration MORE and Ben Shapiro.

The Hill has reached out to Cumulus Media and Premiere Networks for comment.