Selasa, 15 Desember 2020

US Senate leader Mitch McConnell acknowledges Joe Biden as President-elect - ABC News

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Democrat Joe Biden as President-elect on Tuesday (local time), saying the Electoral College "has spoken".

The Republican's statement, delivered in a speech on the Senate floor, ends weeks of silence over President Donald Trump's defeat.

It came a day after electors met and officially affirmed Mr Biden's election win.

"I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden," Mr McConnell said.

"But our system of government has the processes to determine who will be sworn in on January 20. The Electoral College has spoken."

Senator McConnell called Mr Biden someone "who has devoted himself to public service for many years".

He also congratulated vice-president-elect Kamala Harris, saying "all Americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice-president-elect for the very first time".

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he addresses at the Eastern Economic Forum
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates Mr Biden six weeks after the election.(AP: Sergei Bobylevl/TASS News Agency)

Meanwhile, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has congratulated Mr Biden for the first time on his presidential win, despite the country voting in early November.

The Kremlin has released a statement, quoting Mr Putin as saying he is ready for "interaction and contact" with Mr Biden.

The Russian leader had said previously he wanted to wait for the final results before congratulating the winner.

Republicans 'face the music' on Trump defeat

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President-elect Joe Biden says American Democracy had been threatened, but proved resilient.

The Senate leader's remarks followed a groundswell of leading Republicans who have now said that Mr Biden is the winner of the presidential election, essentially abandoning Mr Trump's assault on the outcome after the Electoral College on Monday confirmed Mr Biden's victory.

Senator McConnell prefaced his remarks with sweeping praise for what he characterised as Mr Trump's "endless" accomplishments during four years in office.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris speaks at a campaign event
Kamala Harris is the first woman elected to be vice-president of the United States.(Reuters: Carlos Barria)

He said Mr Trump delivered on a promise to "shake up Washington," and cited the President's nomination and Senate confirmation of three Supreme Court justices, among other accomplishments.

For his part, Mr Trump continued to push his unfounded claims of "voter fraud" in a new tweet on Tuesday.


Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said now that Senator McConnell has spoken, "enough is enough".

Mr Trump should "end his term with a modicum of grace and dignity," Senator Schumer said.

With states having affirmed the election results, the Republicans faced a pivotal choice — to declare Mr Biden the president-elect, as the tally showed, or keep standing silently by as Mr Trump waged a potentially damaging campaign to overturn the election.

As the Electoral College voted on Monday, giving Mr Biden a clear majority, GOP senators began speaking up.

"At some point you have to face the music," said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the number two GOP leader.

"Once the Electoral College settles the issue today, it's time for everybody to move on."

Trump's 'dangerous' campaign to overturn result

Lindsey Graham and Donald Trump at a rally
Senator Lindsey Graham is an ally of President Donald Trump.(Reuters: Leah Millis)

Just last week, the Republicans on the inauguration committee had declined to publicly do so.

The turnaround comes nearly six weeks after Election Day. Many Republicans rode out the time in silence, enabling Mr Trump to wage an unprecedented challenge to the nation's cherished system of voting.

Some GOP lawmakers have vowed to carry the fight to January 6 when Congress votes to accept or reject the Electoral College results.

Others have said Mr Trump's legal battles should continue toward resolution by inauguration day, January 20.

"It's a very, very narrow path for the President," said Senator Lindsey Graham, a top Trump ally.

Historians and election officials have warned that Mr Trump's unfounded claims of voter fraud threaten to erode Americans' faith in the election system, and that lawmakers have a responsibility under the oath of office to defend the Constitution.

"The campaign to overturn the outcome is a dangerous thing," said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public policy at Princeton.

"This is a Republican operation, not a presidential operation ... Without their silence, he couldn't do what he is doing."

Mr Trump is trying to throw out the ballots of thousands of Americans, particularly those who voted by mail, in dozens of lawsuits that have mostly failed.

His legal team is claiming irregularities, even though Attorney-General William Barr, who abruptly resigned on Monday, has said there is no evidence of widespread fraud that would alter the election results.


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2020-12-15 17:55:00Z

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