Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made an impassioned attack Wednesday on President Trump’s effort to overturn the presidential election.
Deriding Trump’s effort to toss the results of the election, the powerful Republican leader called on lawmakers to have the courage to accept the verdict of the American people whether they agree with it or not.
“It would be unfair to disenfranchise the voters and overturn the decisions of courts,” McConnell said. “I will vote to defend our system of government as we know it.”
McConnell warned against the danger of Congress trying to impose its will on states and millions of voters.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives for the Electoral College vote certification for President-elect Joe Biden, during a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes for President at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. (KEVIN DIETSCH/)
“We cannot declare ourselves a national election board on steroids,” McConnell declared.
In a remarkable break from Trump, McConnell dismissed the president’s arguments for overturn the election as a random collection of minor irregularities, partisan spin and outrageous evidence-free claims that the entire American electoral system is fatally flawed.
The lifelong Republican called out Trump for claiming that Democrats somehow rigged the vote in state after state to give victory to President-elect Joe Biden.
“These are sweeping conspiracy theories,” McConnell said dourly. “This election was not even particularly close.”
McConnell framed his declaration as an effort to defuse the stark divisions in American society that have split the country into warring camps, a remarkable statement from a leader who is one of the prime architects of the partisan wars that have taken over the nation’s capital in recent years.
“We cannot become two tribes, each with our own set of facts,” he said.
The stalwart Kentucky conservative made it clear that Trump and his #MAGA followers crossed a line in the sand by seeking to undermine the electoral college and the primacy of states in the electoral process.
He pointedly reminded lawmakers that defending those institutions has long been bedrock conservative orthodoxy, even in defeat.
McConnell sought to squelch a revolt by pro-Trump right wingers in his own caucus by warning lawmakers to avoid buying into Trump’s dead-end fight to overturn the results.
But the wily leader has suffered a humiliating setback as more than a dozen senators rebuffed his leadership to side with Trump.
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