Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday formally recognized Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president-elect and vice president-elect following Monday’s electoral votes.
“Our country has officially a president-elect and a vice president-elect,” McConnell said.
This marks the first time the Senate majority leader has used the title to refer to the former vice president, though critics note the establishment media prematurely gave Biden the title, as he did not officially become president-elect until Monday following the electoral votes across 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Since the election, which President Trump and his allies continue to challenge, McConnell has offered few words on the president’s legal challenges but has tacitly offered his support.
Days after the election, McConnell stated any “illegally submitted” ballots “must not” be counted.
“All sides must get to observe the process,” he said that week, adding the courts “are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes.”
“That’s how Americans’ votes decide the result,” he added:
Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes.
That's how Americans' votes decide the result.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) November 6, 2020
— The Recount (@therecount) November 6, 2020
McConnell’s support for the president became even more clear the following week after the majority leader blasted Democrats during a speech on the Senate floor, defending the president’s pursuit of allegations of voter fraud and possible malfeasance.
“The president has every right to look into allegations and to request recounts under the law and notably the Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations,” McConnell stated.
“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,” he continued.
“Our institutions are actually built for this,” McConnell added. “We have the system in place to consider concerns and President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered a brief remark on Friday regarding the current state of the presidential election, expressing his belief that every “illegally submitted” ballot “must not” be counted. https://t.co/P50y5WZicR
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 6, 2020
The Kentucky Republican also used the opportunity to remind Democrats of the endless crusade to delegitimize the results of the 2016 election, asking to be spared from “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 and who insinuated that this one would be illegitimate too if they lost again — only if they lost.”
Congress will formally count the electoral votes on January 6, but President Trump and his team are continuing the battle to overturn the results, as 47 percent of Americans believe that it is “likely” that Democrats “stole” votes or destroyed ballots for Trump.