Toyota defends donations to lawmakers who objected to certifying election

Automaker Toyota defended its donations to Republican lawmakers who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, saying it did not believe it was "appropriate to judge members of Congress" for that one vote.

The Japanese car maker made the remarks after Axios reported on Sunday that Toyota led in terms of the number of donations made to objectors, having donated $55,000 to 37 Republican lawmakers who objected to certifying the 2020 election results in January. This amounts to about a quarter of the lawmakers who voted against certifying President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE's victory.

Toyota donated almost twice as much money and to nearly five times as many candidates as the next leading company, Cubic Corporation, which made eight donations, according to data from the left-leaning watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington that was shared with Axios.

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"Toyota supports candidates based on their position on issues that are important to the auto industry and the company. We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification," a Toyota spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill. "Based on our thorough review, we decided against giving to some members who, through their statements and actions, undermine the legitimacy of our elections and institutions.”

The spokesperson did not specify what sort of statements or actions were deemed to have crossed a line.

By Sunday evening, "Toyota" was trending on Twitter, with some Toyota owners vowing to stop making purchases from the company.

"Wifey & I are deciding between Toyota, Honda, & Nissan for our next minivan. Let's go places...not named Toyota," former Democratic congressional candidate Qasim Rashid tweeted.

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Film and television producer Melissa Jo Peltier tweeted, "Hello @Toyota? I’ve had my @Lexus since 2012. Second one. Loved them both. Was looking at your new models for 2022. Now, though, there will not be a third one until you clean up your act."