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Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes'

Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet MORE (D-La.) said Sunday that the GOP has been “very reluctant to stand up” to President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE, who has refused to recognize President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE’s win. 

Richmond, the incoming director of Biden’s White House Office of Public Engagement, told NBC News’s “Meet the Press” that he’s surprised about the “grasp” Trump has on the Republican Party and its members.

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“It's just amazing to me the grasp that this president has on the Republican Party, and the reluctance that members have to come out and tell him the hard truth,” he told host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddRichmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' GOP senator calls for cooperation on Biden transition: 'I'd rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare' Hogan calls Giuliani press conference a 'train wreck' MORE.

The Louisiana Democrat specifically called out his friend, House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future MORE (R-La.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden and reproductive health rights Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE (R-Ky.) for not stepping in as the president falsely declares victory. 

“This is the future of our democracy on the line,” Richmond said. “It was a fair and square election. Donald Trump lost. And so, at some point, we have to move on. But this Republican Party has been very reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor that he wears no clothes.”

Richmond called Trump’s actions “certainly un-American” but noted “there’s nothing” the president “will do that will surprise me because he’s shown exactly who he is.”

“At some point, I just hope that the American people understand that this is about them,” he said. “This is not about an elected official, this is about saving lives this is about protecting our country.”

Trump has refused to concede in the election, despite Biden being declared the winner more than two weeks. Instead, the president has put his energy into lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign in several battleground states contesting the vote and falsely alleging widespread voter fraud.

Trump's appointed administrator of the General Services Administration has also not recognized Biden's win, delaying the former vice president's transition team's access to government officials, intelligence and funding.