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

Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondAn attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation Pelosi to seat Iowa Republican as Democratic challenger contests election results Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow dies of COVID-19 MORE (D-La.) said Sunday that the GOP has been “very reluctant to stand up” to President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE, who has refused to recognize President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID 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.

“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 ToddFauci tells Maddow he was 'blocked' from going on show under Trump admin Officials brace for second Trump impeachment trial House GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' MORE.

The Louisiana Democrat specifically called out his friend, House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseBiden under pressure to deliver more COVID-19 shots Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration MORE (R-La.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse GOP leader says he has 'concerns' over Cheney's impeachment vote McCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Kentucky Republican committee rejects resolution urging McConnell to condemn Trump impeachment Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack 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.