President Donald Trump expressed gratitude for Sen. Josh Hawley on Friday after the Missouri Republican said he would join with House GOP members in objecting to the electoral college ballots, saying the country is “proud” of the Show-Me State senator for doing so.
“America is proud of Josh and the many others who are joining him. The USA cannot have fraudulent elections!” Trump tweeted.
According to CNN’s Jake Tapper, 140 Republicans in the House will rise to object to the electoral college votes that gave Democrat Joe Biden the presidency amid ongoing claims of vote fraud and improper voting by the Trump campaign and some GOP lawmakers.
2 House Republicans tell me they expect as of now that at least 140 Republican Members of the House will on Jan 6 object to and vote against the Electoral College results showing President-elect Biden won
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 31, 2020
This week, Hawley, 41, became the first senator to openly pledge he will object to the electoral votes during Congress’ Jan. 6 joint session.
“Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard. I will object on January 6 on their behalf,” Hawley said in a statement.
“Following both the 2004 and 2016 elections, Democrats in Congress objected to the certification of election results in order to raise concerns about election integrity,” he added. “They were praised by Democratic leadership and the media when they did. And they were entitled to do so. But now those of us concerned about the integrity of this election are entitled to do the same.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on Jan. 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” he noted further.
— oregon4TRUMP (@shawgerald4) January 1, 2021
Nevertheless, some Senate Republicans including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, are unimpressed with Hawley’s planned objection.
McConnell attempted to call out Hawley during a conference call Thursday with the GOP caucus but the Missouri Republican did not participate in it.
“McConnell held a conference call with Senate Republicans this morning in which he pressed Hawley multiple times to explain his plans to object to the Electoral College. McConnell was met with silence, per multiple people familiar with the call. Turns out Hawley wasn’t present,” Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt reported via Twitter.
McConnell has expressed concern that GOP senators up for re-election in ‘22 will be forced to take a vote on a seemingly pointless endeavor that will imperil them either in a general or primary election
— Alex Isenstadt (@politicoalex) December 31, 2020
He added that the majority leader has expressed concern that Hawley’s objection will harm Republican senators up for reelection in 2022.
“The Missouri senator has rankled senior Republicans with his maneuver, and McConnell has made the case that voting to object to the election results — which is likely doomed to fail because of opposition from Democrats as well as some Republicans — will force senators to choose between defying President Donald Trump and taking the unprecedented step of overturning an election,” Politico reported.
“Opposing the GOP-led objection, meanwhile, could jeopardize Republicans’ primary prospects by turning off voters who are convinced the election was stolen from Trump,” the outlet added.
Some have suggested that Hawley’s objections are based primarily on positioning himself for a presidential run in 2024, but he pushed back on them in an interview with Fox News this week.
“That’s ridiculous,” Hawley said. “I’m not running for president. I’m the senator from Missouri. I have a responsibility to speak on behalf of my constituents and to stand up and take a stand where I can. And I say again this is the opportunity that I have to do it.”
He also noted, again, that Democrats praised each other and were lauded by the media when they took similar stands over the past several presidential election cycles.
“And now, when Republicans want to do it, we’re called unpatriotic, we’re called traitors? That’s ridiculous,” he said.
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