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 TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? 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 McConnellHas Trump beaten the system? Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Tokyo Olympics kick off with 2020-style opening ceremony 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 CornynSchumer feels pressure from all sides on spending strategy Data reveal big opportunity to finish the vaccine job GOP senators invite Yellen to brief them on debt ceiling expiration, inflation MORE (Texas), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Infrastructure vote fails; partisan feud erupts over Jan. 6 panel Senate falling behind on infrastructure MORE (Maine) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers MORE (Fla.), have also recognized Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. 

Former GOP Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerSchumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up Trump says Herschel Walker will enter Georgia Senate race WNBA announces zero COVID-19 positive tests, 99 percent fully vaccinated MORE (Ga.), who was defeated in her runoff election by Sen. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockObamaCare 2.0 is a big funding deal Kaseya ransomware attack highlights cyber vulnerabilities of small businesses Lawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection 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 LevinSunday shows preview: Feds slam social media over COVID-19 misinformation Mark Levin urges Americans to boycott 'woke' businesses Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control MORE and Ben Shapiro.

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