As a line is drawn through Capitol Hill between those who insist former Vice President Joe Biden is the new president-elect and those who contend the race isn’t over until legal battles are sorted out, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) just put an end to any speculation about where he stands.
On Monday, McConnell gave his first remarks on the Senate floor since the election, and took a strong stand for President Donald Trump’s right to demand an honest election while refusing to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect, Fox News reported.
Backing the president
A lot of eyes and ears were on McConnell as he delivered his remarks. Given his prominent, high-powered position in Congress, his acknowledgment that Biden is president-elect would have gone a long way.
Instead, he stood strongly by the president, agreeing with the Trump campaign’s insistence that “all legal votes must be counted” and acknowledging that there is a long way to go before an official outcome is legally certified.
“Obviously no states have yet certified their election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount and I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states,” McConnell said.
Making certain there would be no confusion concerning his stance on the evolving issue, McConnell asserted in his speech that Trump was “100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.”
The Senate majority leader stopped short of claiming any specific instances of voter or ballot fraud in a number of key swing states that have been alleged by Trump and members of his inner-circle, The Hill reported.
McConnell also touched on the hot-button subject of whether or not the mainstream media should have such a heavy influence on the outcome of a major election. Fox News and other media outlets were hammered for some of the early calls they made, including eventually calling the race for Biden.
“The Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations. The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the president of the United States,” McConnell said.
McConnell also took a jab at Democrats for complaining about Trump’s refusal to concede at this point in time, reminding Democrats that they spent all of Trump’s first term questioning the validity of the 2016 election.
“Let’s not have any lectures, no lectures, about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election,” McConnell said.
Only time will tell how messy this post-election mountain of legal challenges will become, but with heavy-hitters like McConnell on his side, Trump is well-geared for the fights that are yet to come.