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

Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondPadilla has 'big Chuck Taylors to fill' in replacing Harris Bottom line Biden pledges action on guns amid resistance MORE (D-La.) said Sunday that the GOP has been “very reluctant to stand up” to President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE, who has refused to recognize President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenLawmakers, activists remember civil rights icons to mark 'Bloody Sunday' Fauci predicts high schoolers will receive coronavirus vaccinations this fall Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump 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 ToddGOP senator defends Cheney, Murkowski after Trump rebuke Former Biden COVID-19 adviser: 'We are in the eye of the hurricane right now' Manchin firm on support for filibuster, mulls making it 'a little bit more painful' to use MORE.

The Louisiana Democrat specifically called out his friend, House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseBiden's COVID, border policies prove he's serious about neither Republican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Merrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat MORE (R-La.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyBorder crisis creates new risks for Biden McCarthy sits for 'Green Eggs and Ham' reading: I 'still like' Dr. Seuss Chamber of Commerce clarifies stance on lawmakers who voted against election certification MORE (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats near pressure point on nixing filibuster  We need a voting rights workaround Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package 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.