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GOP Sen. Lankford apologizes to Black constituents for opposing election results

Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordCPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be Republicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (R-Okla.) on Thursday wrote a letter apologizing to Black constituents for opposing the Electoral College results, saying he didn’t realize the attempt would cast doubt “on the validity of votes coming out of predominantly Black communities.”

In a letter addressed to “My friends in North Tulsa” obtained by Tulsa World, Lankford acknowledges that his actions “caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state. I was completely blindsided, but I also found a blind spot.”

Lankford last month signed onto a letter from Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from CPAC 2021 Trump wins CPAC straw poll with 55 percent 'SNL' envisions Fauci as game show host, giving winners vaccines MORE (R-Texas) saying he would vote against the Electoral College results unless a commission was formed to provide a 10-day audit of President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE’s debunked claims of voter fraud. 

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He later backed down from attempts to continue the challenge after a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol.

The senator wrote in his letter that it was never his intention to “disenfranchise any voter or state” but that he wanted to resolve “any outstanding questions” before President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE is inaugurated on Wednesday.

“What I did not realize was all of the national conversation about states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, was seen as casting doubt on the validity of votes coming out of predominantly Black communities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit,” he wrote.

“After decades of fighting for voting rights, many Black friends in Oklahoma saw this as a direct attack on their right to vote, for their vote to matter, and even a belief that their votes made an election in our country illegitimate,” he continued.

Lankford acknowledged in his letter that 2021 will be the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, where at least 300 Black Tulsa residents were killed by a white mob on June 1, 1921.

Black leaders in Tulsa have called for Lankford’s removal or resignation from the 1921 Race Massacre Centennial Committee because of his support for the Electoral College challenge, The Tulsa World reported.

“I can assure you, my intent to give a voice to Oklahomans who had questions was never also an intent to diminish the voice of any Black American. I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you,” he concluded. “I deeply regret my blindness to that perception, and for that I am sorry.”