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Republicans Split on Trump Allegations of Voter Fraud

Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) speaks during hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 5, 2020. (Alex Wong/Reuters)

A number of Republican officials have pushed back on President Trump’s Thursday allegations that Democrats were “stealing” the presidential election while others have backed the claim.

In his first major remarks on the election since Tuesday, the president alleged that pollsters “knowingly” inflated prospective support for Democrats in order to “suppress” the Republican vote. Trump also warned that the close results in several key swing states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, indicated widespread voter fraud.

“I saw the president’s speech last night and it was very hard to watch,” Senator Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said in a Friday appearance on NBC’s The Today Show. “The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here.”

Senator Mitt Romney (R., Utah), former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former national security adviser John Bolton, and Representative Will Hurd all joined in criticism of the president’s remarks. All have been openly critical of Trump in the past, and Hurd did not seek reelection this year.

“A sitting president undermining our political process & questioning the legality of the voices of countless Americans without evidence is not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon,” Hurd wrote on Twitter.

“We Republicans are facing a character test,” Bolton wrote in his own comments. “all candidates are entitled to pursue appropriate election-law remedies if they have evidence supporting their claims. They should certainly not lie.”

Other Republicans were more circumspect in their responses to the president.

“Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) wrote on Twitter. “Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes.”

Other prominent Republicans seemed to support Trump’s unfounded allegations of voter fraud.

Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News on Thursday that “Philadelphia elections are crooked as a snake” and posited that “dead people” had cast votes in the election.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was more effusive during his Thursday appearance on Fox, declaring definitively that Trump  “won” the race.

“President Trump won this election, so everyone who’s listening, do not be quiet,” McCarthy said. “We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes.”

While the presidential election results appear extremely close in crucial swing states, Michigan and Wisconsin have already been called for Joe Biden by the Associated Press. Biden took the lead in the Georgia and Pennsylvania vote counts on Friday morning.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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