Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton chastised several of their fellow GOP senators on Thursday for their behavior ahead of Congress’s certification of the electoral vote count, which a group of senators said they opposed.
“You have some senators who, for political advantage, were giving false hope to their supporters, misleading them into thinking that somehow yesterday’s actions in Congress could reverse the results of the election,” Cotton said on Fox News.
“These senators, as insurrectionists literally stormed the capitol, were sending out fundraising emails. That shouldn’t have happened, and it’s got to stop now,” he continued.
The Arkansas Republican appears to be referring to fundraising messages from Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri that were sent just as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building Wednesday afternoon.
Shortly before the rioting began, Hawley’s campaign sent a fundraising email promoting his decision to object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes being counted.
“I’m leading the fight to reject electors from key states unless there is an emergency audit of the election results. Will you stand with me?” read Cruz’s fundraising text, which was blasted out after evacuation procedures began in the Capitol.
Cotton emphasized that he was never planning to object to the electoral certification but said he still supports an independent commission to study the November election and propose reforms.
Rubio tweeted Thursday morning that “some misled you” regarding whether the vice president “could reject ballots” and whether “objections could pass or used as leverage to force an audit.”
“They knew the truth but thought it was a great way to get attention & raise money,” the Florida Republican wrote.
Hawley was the first GOP senator to say he would object to the certification of electoral votes, promising to oppose Pennsylvania’s results.
Asked whether he believes Trump is responsible in part for the rioting, Hawley acknowledged, “I don’t think urging people to come to the Capitol was a good idea” but added that “the responsibility of violent criminal acts is with violent criminals.”
Earlier this week, a group of eleven Republican senators led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced they would object to the certification of one or more states’ electoral votes.
That group included Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Braun of Indiana, Steve Daines of Montana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and John Kennedy of Louisiana, as well as senators-elect Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, and Roger Marshall of Kansas.