Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears to have gone rogue — and President Donald Trump isn’t going to like it.
The Daily Wire reports that McConnell is urging GOP senators not to get involved in any attempt by House Republicans to challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress meets on Jan. 6 to certify it.
The majority leader’s comment came after the Electoral College met Monday and voted 302–232 in favor of Democrat Joe Biden over the incumbent president, as CNBC reported.
The vote came as Trump and his legal team continue to challenge the results of the election, alleging fraud and election improprieties in several key states. A number of House Republicans have publicly backed the president, as the Daily Wire notes, but their objection to certifying the Electoral College vote come Jan. 6 won’t matter if some GOP senators don’t join them.
McConnell, for his part, reportedly warned his caucus against it in a private meeting earlier this week.
The New York Times reports: “Mr. McConnell and his top deputies pleaded with their colleagues not to join members of the House in objecting to the election results on Jan. 6, when Congress meets to ratify the Electoral College’s decision, according to three people familiar with the conversation, who described it on the condition of anonymity.”
According to the Daily Wire, McConnell’s concerns are twofold. First, the majority leader is worried about losing the Senate runoff races in Georgia, which will be held just a day before the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote.
Second, McConnell is said to be concerned about the GOP taking big losses in 2022. He seems to believe that, at this point, failure to recognize Biden as the winner of the 2020 election will only hurt Republicans going forward.
The president responds
On Wednesday, President Trump made very clear that he doesn’t agree with the majority leader’s reported position on the election results.
Trump’s allies slam Mitch McConnell for congratulating Biden https://t.co/ak9nu6420L via @MailOnline. Mitch, 75,000,000 VOTES, a record for a sitting President (by a lot). Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight. People are angry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2020
It’s unlikely, however, that McConnell is going to change his mind on this one. He has already declared that the Electoral College “has spoken,” and that Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris (D) are, respectively, the president-elect and vice president-elect.
Only time will tell whether McConnell’s strategy pays off — or ends up haunting the GOP for years to come.