Mitch McConnell: Trump is ‘100% within his rights’ to challenge election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stood firmly behind Donald Trump on Monday as the president continues to raise baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud in an election he has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden.

The Kentucky Republican said Trump is “100% within his rights” to pursue legal challenges and request recounts in several states, declining to acknowledge the former Democratic vice president’s victory.

“No states have yet certified their election results,” McConnell said Monday in a speech on the Senate floor. “I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states.”

“We have the tools and the institutions we need to address any concerns,” McConnell said, adding that the Constitution doesn’t give “wealthy media corporations” the power to call elections.

There has been no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Every major television network, as well as The Associated Press, has projected Biden’s win based on his substantial vote lead in several key states. Biden currently leads Trump by more than 40,000 votes in Pennsylvania, for example.

Only four Republican senators have acknowledged Biden’s victory and congratulated him for winning the White House: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

Dozens of world leaders and former President George W. Bush have also congratulated Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, for their historic election win.

In his speech on Monday, McConnell hailed the unexpectedly good night Senate Republicans had last Tuesday ― the GOP held on to key seats that Democrats were hoping would help hand them control of the majority next year.

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Mitch McConnell through the years

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U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, talked with United States Enrichment Corp. General Manager Howard Pulley during a media tour of the uranium-enrichment Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in the plant’s Central Control Facility (C-300) on Thursday, Aug. 12, 1999 near Paducah, Ky. A sealed federal lawsuit filed in June by the Natural Resources Defense Council and three plant employees alleges that thousands of unsuspecting workers were exposed to dust containing plutonium and other radioactive metals.

(Photo by Billy Suratt)

Senator Mitch McConnell (L) discusses Republican tax cuts as Sen. Patrick Moynihan looks on during NBC’s ”Meet the Press” August 1, 1999 in Washington, DC.

(photo by Richard Ellis)

Senator Christopher Dodd, left, and Senator Mitch McConnell punch the ‘first nails’ into a piece of wood during a nail-driving ceremony December 6, 2000 on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Both senators participated in the ceremony to signify the beginning of construction of the 2001 Inaugural platform on the West Front Terrace of the U.S. Capitol.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Newsmakers)

Mitch McConnell R-Ky. holds a press conference on campaign finance reform.

(Photo by Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

United States President George W. Bush signs nominations for 13 cabinet members in a ceremony in the President’s Room in the Capitol Building, in Washington January 20, 2001. From left to right are Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, (R-Ms), Vice-President Richard Cheney, Senator Strom Thurmond, (R-SC) and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Il).

(STR New / Reuters)

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks to reporters after a news conference on his campaign finance bill.

(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduces his wife Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on the third day of the Republican National Convention in New York, September 1, 2004.

(Photo by Chris Kleponis/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, left, speaks with Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., after the Senate Luncheons.

(Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) (C) and Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) smile at a joint news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington July 28, 2005.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas YG/TZ)

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C), flanked by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) (L-R), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator John Thune (R-SD), talks to reporters about the senate’s passage of debt ceiling legislation at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, August 2, 2011. Congress buried the specter of a debt default by finally passing a deficit-cutting package on Tuesday, but the shadow lingered of a possible painful downgrade of the top-notch American credit rating.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks to his office at the Capitol in Washington December 17, 2011. The U.S. Senate on Saturday passed a $915 billion bill to fund most federal agency activities through next September and avert a government shutdown.

(REUTERS/Benjamin Myers)

Incoming U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (C) (R-TN) attends a meeting with Republican leadership, Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (L) (R-KY) and GOP conference chairman, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) on Capitol Hill January 6, 2003 in Washington, DC. Frist was voted in as majority leader by his colleagues when former majority leader, Trent Lott, stepped down last month.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaking, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., during a news conference on Miguel A. Estrada’s withdrawal of his nomination to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. From CQToday: In numerous news conferences and floor speeches throughout the day, Republicans castigated Democrats for ‘obstructing’ the nominations of Estrada and other judicial candidates; most Democrats said they were blocking an up-or-down vote on the nomination as part of their bid for memos and other work papers from Estrada’s time in the Clinton administration’s Office of the Solicitor General.

(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks about the stimulus package on February 2, 2009 in Washington, DC. Republicans are criticizing the Democrat’s near trillion dollar stimulus package and are asking for revisions before the Senate votes later in the week.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US Senator Mitch McConnell, R-KY, is sworn in by Vice President Dick Cheney (R) as his wife Labor Secretary Elaine Chao holds the Bible during a swearing in reenactment ceremony at the US Capitol on January 6, 2009 in Washington, DC.

(KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wave as they walk before their meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 30, 2016.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

US House Minority Leader John Boehner (L)R-OH and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) make remarks to the press outside the West Wing after their meeting with President Barack Obama on January 23, 2009 at the White House in Washington, DC.

(TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) waves goodbye to reporters after a news conference with (L-R) Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. John Barrasso (R0WY) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) after the weekly Senate Republican Caucus policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol May 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. Despite the Senate voting against opening debate on a bill to keep interest rates on federal Stafford loans from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2012, McConnell said that both the GOP and Democrats agree on keeping rates down but need to find a way to pay for it.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., makes his way to the senate luncheons in the Capitol.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

From left, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, attend a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in the Capitol’s rotunda, June 24, 2014.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell testifies along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (not pictured) during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on ‘Examining a Constitutional Amendment to Restore Democracy to the American People,’ focusing on campaign finance on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks about the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election in Washington, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

El líder de la mayoría del Senado, Mitch McConnell, habla con la prensa tras salir del Senado el jueves 19 de diciembre de 2019 en el Capitolio, Washington. (AP Foto/Patrick Semansky)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, walks through the US Capitol in Washington, DC, December 19, 2019. – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell strongly condemned the impeachment of President Donald Trump by House Democrats on Thursday and said it was now up to the Republican-led Senate to “put this right.”McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor, said the House of Representatives had conducted the “most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.” (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, to speak on the Senate floor. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, right, looks on as her husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., responds to a reporters question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to a gathering of supporters in Lawrenceburg, Ky., Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 9, 2020. Senate Democrats on Thursday stalled President Donald Trump’s request for $250 billion to supplement a “paycheck protection” program for businesses crippled by the coronavirus outbreak, demanding protections for minority-owned businesses and money for health care providers and state and local governments. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)




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But those new GOP senators ― from Tennessee, Kansas, Wyoming and Alabama ― were all projected winners by the same media McConnell and other Republicans sought to cast doubt on this week.

It’s difficult to make the argument that votes in contests favorable to the GOP were perfectly legitimate, whereas votes in the presidential race were not.

“Lawsuits must have basis in facts and evidence, and make no mistake, there has been no evidence of any significant or widespread voter fraud. Joe Biden won this election fair and square,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) proclaimed Monday, urging GOP leaders to come to grips with reality.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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