With a fast-approaching joint session of Congress to validate the election results on January 6, Republicans in Washington are increasing calls for President Donald Trump to back down from baseless claims of widespread voter fraud as polling numbers start to indicate the president could be hurting the GOP’s chances of retaining Senate control.
Speaking to CNN on Sunday morning, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said he expects “a little chaos” at the joint Congressional meeting before blasting Trump’s attempt to contest the election outcome given the lack of credible evidence.
Suggesting â€œthat somehow Congress can overthrow the certified results of every stateâ€ during the January 6 session, a line of thinking the President has encouraged, â€œthis is a scam,” said Kinzinger, who was among the first Republicans to criticize Trump for spreading “debunked misinformation” about the election.Â
On Fox News, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said he thinks the President should accept the outcome of the presidential election after exhausting his options in court to challenge results in states like Pennsylvania, where “conservative Republican judges dismissed [Trump’s] cases for a lack of credible evidence,” Toomey added.
GOP pollster Frank Luntz also railed at Trump for his efforts to undermine the election results, telling ABC’s This Week the president’s insistence on voter fraud conspiracies, coupled with his inaction on stimulus, could be hurting the Republican’s chances of winning Georgiaâ€™s two Senate runoffs on January 5.
“The [polling] numbers have been getting worse over the last seven to 10 days for the Republicans because of the President,” Luntz said, noting that Democrat Jon Ossoff has pulled ahead of Republican incumbent Senator David Perdue in their race, while appointee Kelly Loeffler is tied with her challenger.
Even former Trump allies are now calling for the President to back down from voter fraud claims: “He has behaved like an entitled frat boy,” GOP pundit Geraldo Rivera tweeted Saturday night after lamenting Trump’s loss in a “bitterly contested election.”
“The reality is there is no impetus to overthrow the election,” Kinzinger said Sunday. “All that’s being done is that certain [people]â€”members of Congress, the President, etc.â€”they’re getting retweets, followers, raising money on this scam, and it’s going to disappoint people who believe this election was stolen.”Â
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) was among a few House Republicans who met with President Trump at the White House last week to discuss ways to contest President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory at the January 6 meeting. “I believe we have multiple senators, and the question is not if, but how many,” Brooks said at the time of the support that’s needed from at least one senator to force a vote challenging a state’s election results. Even if they garner that support, however, a vote contesting the election would be tough to get through the Republican-controlled Senate and virtually impossible to pass in the Democrat-controlled House.
LPL Financial Chief Investment Officer Burt White warned in a recent note to clients that any uncertainty resulting from the January 6 meeting “would almost certainly create a legally contested election… that threatens lasting damage to the economy or corporate America,” but even high-ranking Senate Republican John Thune (R-S.D.) said such an attempt to contest the election “would go down like a shot dog” in the Senate.