Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed the Trump campaign’s legal challenge of voting results in several battleground states on Monday in his first public comments on the floor since Election Day.
In his remarks, McConnell, R-Ky., said, “no states have yet certified their election results” and that recounts are already expected to occur in “at least one or two states.” The longtime senator argued that President Trump is “100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.”
“The core principle here is not complicated: in the United States of America, all legal ballots must be counted, any illegal ballots must not be counted, the process should be transparent or observable by all sides and the courts are here to work through concerns,” McConnell said.
McConnell spoke out days after Fox News and other media outlets projected Democratic nominee Joe Biden as the president-elect of the United States. Biden and his running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, have begun work with their transition team.
The Trump campaign has mounted legal challenges and alleged voting irregularities or outright fraud in several states, but it has yet to produce significant evidence to back up the claims. McConnell called for any claims that surface to be investigated.
“If any major irregularities occurred this time of a magnitude that would affect the outcome, then every single American should want them to be brought to light,” McConnell said. “If the Democrats feel confident that they have not occurred, they should have no reason to fear any extra scrutiny. We have the tools and institutions we need to address any concerns.”
McConnell referenced the 2020 presidential election, when a recount took place in Florida due to the thin margin of votes that separated George W. Bush and Al Gore. He noted the Gore campaign mounted a lengthy legal challenge and that Gore did not concede the race until December of that year.
“Let’s not have any lectures, no lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election,” McConnell said in Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.
McConnell said the 2020 election appears to have been free from meaningful foreign interference.
“There is no suggestion that our foreign adversaries were allowed to undermine the integrity of our process,” McConnell said.