WASHINGTON — Republican response to President Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud ranged extensively Friday, from vigorous settlement to sharp condemnations, and in between some fastidiously constructed statements supporting the concept of honest elections with none endorsement of the president’s fabricated assertions of an election conspiracy.
“Right here’s how this should work in our nice nation: Each authorized vote must be counted,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the bulk chief, wrote on Twitter Friday morning. “Any illegally-submitted ballots should not. All sides should get to look at the method. And the courts are right here to use the legal guidelines & resolve disputes.”
“That’s how Individuals’ votes determine the consequence,” he added.
Notably absent from Mr. McConnell’s assertion was any suggestion that Democrats have been stealing the election by way of an elaborate nationwide conspiracy that included pollsters and the information media, as Mr. Trump asserted with no proof in a rambling news conference on Thursday. It additionally implicitly rejected Mr. Trump’s fruitless requires a halt to vote counting in states the place his early leads have been threatened or eradicated.
In a stinging statement, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah stated that Mr. Trump, whereas free to request recounts and current legitimate proof of fraud, “is unsuitable to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen — doing so weakens the reason for freedom right here and world wide, weakens the establishments that lie on the foundations of the republic, and recklessly inflames harmful and harmful passions.”
As Mr. Trump and his die-hard allies maintained that the vote in Pennsylvania — the place his early lead over former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., evaporated on Friday — was badly corrupted, that state’s Republican senator, Patrick J. Toomey, condemned Mr. Trump’s claims.
“The president’s speech final night time was very disturbing to me as a result of he made very, very critical allegations with none proof to help it,” Mr. Toomey told “CBS This Morning.”
“I’m not conscious of any vital fraud, any vital wrongdoing,” he added.
Some Republicans appear ready to defend Mr. Trump’s place with out reservation, nevertheless.
“President Trump gained this election,” Consultant Kevin McCarthy of California advised the Fox Information host Laura Ingraham on Thursday night time. “So everybody who’s listening: Don’t be quiet. Don’t be silent about this. We can’t enable this to occur earlier than our very eyes.”
Claiming with out proof that ballot watchers haven’t been capable of watch vote counts, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas tweeted a link to Mr. Trump’s authorized protection fund, with the headline, in all capital letters, “The Democrats Will Attempt to Steal This Election.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida even told Fox News that if Mr. Trump have been denied what he known as a “honest” rely, then state legislatures might take into account “treatments,” suggesting that they could direct their electors to vote in opposition to their state’s election winner.
However different Republican governors have been a lot much less supportive. Utah’s lieutenant governor, and now governor-elect, Spencer Cox, said “there may be nothing nefarious about it taking a number of days to rely all respectable votes.” Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont, who voted for Mr. Biden, known as Mr. Trump’s Thursday feedback “absolutely shameful.”
Even Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, in a superficially supportive tweet on Friday morning, made no claims of fraud or election theft.
“Each legally forged vote must be counted. Each illegally forged vote shouldn’t. This shouldn’t be controversial,” Ms. Trump wrote. “This isn’t a partisan assertion — free and honest elections are the muse of our democracy.”
Her phrases have been a distinction to these of her brothers, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who’ve each made sweeping accusations of widespread fraud. Earlier within the morning, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the groundless claim that there’s “infinitely extra proof of voter fraud than there ever was of ‘Russia Collusion’ however surprisingly nobody within the media needs to look into it.”
Ms. Trump’s place additionally echoed one on Thursday night from Vice President Mike Pence, shortly after the president spoke, which additionally didn’t embody speak of conspiracy or fraud.
“I Stand With President @realDonaldTrump. We should rely each LEGAL vote,” Mr. Pence tweeted.
Mr. Trump’s former nationwide safety adviser John R. Bolton, who since his acrimonious departure from the White Home final summer time has turn into a Trump critic, not directly condemned his former boss with out mentioning his title.
“Republicans are going through a personality take a look at,” Mr. Bolton wrote on Twitter. “All candidates are entitled to pursue applicable election-law treatments if they’ve proof supporting their claims. They need to actually not lie. The primary Republican president was known as ‘Trustworthy Abe’ for a purpose.”
The statements on Friday adopted a wave of Republican response on Thursday night time, together with some defenses of Mr. Trump.
“I don’t belief Philadelphia,” the newly re-elected Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina stated, also on Fox News, referring to the town the place voters overwhelmingly selected Mr. Biden, serving to eradicate Mr. Trump’s early lead. “I’m right here tonight to face with President Trump,” he stated, echoing Mr. Trump’s declare that “mainstream” pollsters had inflated Democratic numbers to “suppress Republican votes.”
However many extra senior Republicans have been no less than not directly vital of Mr. Trump, even after Mr. Trump’s son and former marketing campaign supervisor publicly complained that extra Republicans weren’t stepping ahead to defend the embattled president.
“Counting each vote is on the coronary heart of democracy,” Mr. Romney wrote the night earlier than his extra forceful assertion on Friday.
“There isn’t any protection for the President’s feedback tonight undermining our Democratic course of,” tweeted Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican and frequent Trump critic. “No election or individual is extra necessary than our Democracy.”
A number of Republicans famous the absence of any particular proof of substantive wrongdoing.
“If a candidate believes a state is violating election legal guidelines they’ve a proper to problem it in courtroom & produce proof in help of their claims,” tweeted Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who reposted a message from Wednesday during which he stated, “Taking days to rely legally forged votes is NOT fraud. And courtroom challenges to votes forged after the authorized voting deadline is NOT suppression.”
With out naming Mr. Trump, Consultant Adam Kinzinger of Illinois tweeted that “you probably have legit issues about fraud current EVIDENCE and take it to courtroom. STOP Spreading debunked misinformation.”
“That is getting insane,” he added.