Pressure for US President Donald Trump to start the transition process to US president-elect Joe Biden built among Republicans in the US Congress on Friday as several voiced doubts over Trump’s claims of fraudulent voting.
US Senator Lamar Alexander, who is retiring at the end of the year, said that Biden had a “very good chance” of becoming the next president, and urged the Trump administration to begin the transition process.
The loser of this election should “put the country first, congratulate the winner and help him to a good beginning of the new term,” the senator wrote in a statement.
US Representative Fred Upton told reporters that “I’ve not seen any evidence of fraud that would overturn 150,000 and some votes” that Biden leads Trump by in his home state.
“No one has shown any evidence” of fraud in Michigan, Upton said.
There is a “right way and a wrong way” for Trump to contest what he “perceives as election irregularities,” US Senator Susan Collins said in a statement.
“The right way is to compile the evidence and mount legal challenges in our courts. The wrong way is to attempt to pressure state election officials,” she said.
Biden should receive the “briefings, office space and access to government resources he needs to be ready to govern on inauguration day,” Collins said.
US Senator Dan Sullivan told reporters that Trump has “a high bar” to prove his claims that the election has been stolen by Democrats.
“And they’ve got to prove it in court,” Sullivan said.
US Senator Mitt Romney, who has been a Trump critic, wrote on Twitter late on Thursday that Trump had failed to make a “plausible case” of widespread election fraud, and was now trying to pressure state and local officials to overturn the election.
“It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action,” he wrote.
Until now, Republicans in the US Congress have mostly said Trump should have latitude in pursuing legal claims of wrongdoing in the election.
Now, there is a cascading effect under way in the party, according to one Republican strategist who has advised campaigns for several years.
First “never Trumpers” called on Trump to begin turning over power to Biden almost immediately after the Nov. 3 election, the strategist said on Friday, followed by “marginal never Trumpers” a week later.
They are now being joined by Republicans who supported him reluctantly over the past four years, he said.
“In reality, Republicans all over are turning the page” on Trump’s presidency, he said.
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