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Cotton calls out Senate Republicans for misleading supporters about election results

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonRepublicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks MORE (R-Ark.) is calling out Republican colleagues including Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyCrenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks The Memo: Is Trump mounting a comeback — or finally fading? MORE (Mo.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCrenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington on high alert as QAnon theory marks March 4 MORE (Texas) — though not by name — for challenging the results of the 2020 election in a way he says was misleading.

“Some senators, for political gain, misled supporters about their ability to challenge the election results — some even sent out fundraising emails while insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. That stops now — Republicans ought to focus on countering the Democrats’ radical agenda,” Cotton tweeted on Thursday morning.

Cotton appeared to be referring to Hawley, his potential rival for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, whose campaign sent out a fundraising email Wednesday promoting his plan to object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.

The email was sent shortly before a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, bringing a temporary halt to the counting of the Electoral College vote and leaving offices and hallways in the Capitol ransacked.

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Cotton during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” said “you have some senators who for political advantage were giving false hope to their supporters, misleading them into thinking that somehow yesterday’s actions in Congress could reverse the results of the election, or even get some kind of emergency audit of the election results.”

“That was never going to happen yet these senators as insurrectionists literally stormed the Capitol were sending out fundraising emails. That shouldn’t have happened and it’s got to stop now,” Cotton said.

He also appeared to be referring to Cruz, who over the weekend spearheaded a letter signed by 10 other Republican senators and senators-elect, calling for the establishment of a special commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of the election results.

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Cotton said these actions went too far even as he acknowledged that allegations of voter fraud need to be investigated.

“We do need an independent commission, which I proposed and [Sen.] Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSole GOP vote on House police reform bill says he 'accidentally pressed the wrong voting button' House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill MORE [R-S.C.] has written a bill and introduced it, to study what happened with the election practices in the last election given the unusual circumstances of the pandemic and try to propose reforms for the future,” he said.

But Cotton asserted that colleagues and fellow Republicans who pushed what he said are misleading claims fueled chaos at the Capitol Wednesday and also cost the GOP politically in Georgia, where they lost two Senate runoff elections.

“What happened yesterday is in part a result of the misleading claims of recent weeks and also what happened Tuesday night is a result of misleading claims of recent weeks that the people of Georgia’s vote didn’t count,” he said.

“If you tell people that their vote doesn’t count, that the election is rigged, you shouldn’t be surprised when a few of them don’t turn out to vote and that looks like it provided the margin of victory,” Cotton said.

“The Democrats turned out a few percentage points more in their strongholds than Republicans did in Georgia,” he added.