Senate

Graham: Trump should attend Biden inauguration 'if' Biden wins

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of President Trump's closest allies on Capitol Hill, says it would be "good for the country" for Trump to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 "if Biden winds up winning."

"If Biden winds up winning, yeah, I think so," Graham said when asked about whether Trump should attend Biden's swearing-in ceremony. "I just think it's good for the country. It'd be good for him."

"I hope that Biden will come to his," he added with a small chuckle.

Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election earlier this month. Though Trump has not conceded the election and continues to mount so far unsuccessful legal challenges in key swing states, most of those states, including Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, have certified Biden's victory. The Electoral College is slated to meet Dec. 14.

Graham, who said he spoke with Trump recently, said the president is "focused on the challenges he has" and the possibility of fraud associated with mail-in voting.

"I'm very worried about it too myself, quite frankly," he said.

Other GOP lawmakers have said the same thing.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he would like to see Trump at Biden's inauguration.

"I hope the president is there on inaugural day," he said, even though he declined to explicitly call Biden the president-elect.

Trump has floated to advisers the possibility of launching a 2024 presidential campaign during Biden's inauguration week, according to The Daily Beast.  

A growing number of Republicans are calling on Trump to concede the race.

"I think he should concede. I think the race is over," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told CNN's Manu Raju on Monday.

Three Republican senators called on Trump before Thanksgiving to wind up his legal challenges against the vote count in key states.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who co-chaired Trump's campaign in Ohio and who is up for reelection in 2022, said last week that Trump's campaign hasn't provided compelling evidence of widespread voting fraud.

"Based on all the information currently available, neither the final lawful vote counts nor the recounts have led to a different outcome in any state. In other words, the initial determination showing Joe Biden with enough electoral vote to win has not changed," he wrote in an op-ed published last week in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) made a similar statement last week.

"While some irregularities and fraud have been found and should be punished, there is no indication that these are widespread enough to call into question the outcome of the election," she said. 

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is retiring from the Senate at the end of 2022, said there has not been any widespread voter fraud or irregularities in his home state, where Biden was certified the winner with an 80,000-vote lead. 

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