• Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

The president is still pushing his long-shot litigation and conspiracy theories, but lawmakers are increasingly acknowledging his defeat in private.

Nov 19, 2020

President Donald Trump is continuing his longshot legal effort against this month’s presidential election result, but reports indicate that Republican lawmakers are increasingly accepting that President-Elect Joe Biden will take office in January.
Republican senators are now looking at how they can best use Trump’s last 45 or so days in office, according to the Associated Press.
Trump’s legal challenges are falling apart, with lawyers representing his campaign admitting in court they have no evidence of the widespread electoral fraud the president claims robbed him of a second term.
Senior advisers—including daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner—have reportedly been warning the president that his legal challenges are extremely unlikely to change the result. Others—like sons Eric and Donald Jr., plus attorney Rudy Giuliani—are said to be urging him to fight on.
The president himself has reportedly accepted in private that he has lost to Biden, despite his frenzied and angry Twitter output. While he continues his public fight, the GOP lawmakers that have supported him for four years are now looking at what more they can get from the outgoing administration.
Two unnamed GOP senators told the AP that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows urged lawmakers to “make the most” of Trump’s remaining term. Texas Sen. John Cornyrn said Meadows told Republicans “basically just that we got about 45 days left of the president’s term.”
The chief of staff said the White House wanted to be sure senators “had ideas of things that the White House could and should do during that period of time, that we got them to him.”
Still, Meadows hinted that he still hopes for an unlikely Trump victory. “But he did, I have to be honest with you, he did say whether it’s 45 days or four years and 45 days,” Cornyn said.
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey summed up what many lawmakers are said to feel about the president’s legal challenges in private. “Let me just say, I don’t think they have a strong case,” he told AP. But few are breaking with the Trump campaign line, fearing retribution from Republican voters, with whom the president remains popular.
Senate eyes have turned to January, when two run-off races in Georgia will decide which party controls the Senate for the next four years. The stakes are high for the GOP, which will be looking to stifle much of Biden’s policy proposals for his coming term.
Even when Trump eventually does accept defeat, he will likely loom over the party given his media profile, appeal to GOP voters and pull among donors. It is rumored that Trump is considering launching his own media channel to rival Fox News, a project that would enhance his likely role as a Republican kingmaker.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell leaves after a Senate Republican policy luncheon at the Hart Senate Office Building November 18, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.Alex Wong/Getty Images/Getty