Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that President Donald Trump has every right to demand an investigation into “irregularities” that may have been committed during last week’s elections.
Speaking in the Senate, McConnell did not recognize Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect and Kamala Harris as vice-president-elect.
“President Trump has a 100% right to review reports of violations and consider available legal options,” McConnell said.
Earlier Monday, two other Republican senators, Susan Collins and Ben Sass, congratulated Biden on his victory. Collins highlighted the importance of a transition process to ensure that the President-elect and Harris are ready to take over on January 20.
“He loves this country and I wish him every success,” Collins said in a statement. Few Republican senators congratulated the Democrat after he won enough electoral votes to win on Saturday.
Collins, who was re-elected to the Senate last week, also said Trump should be able to challenge the election results.
Trump did not admit defeat and filed a number of lawsuits, claiming fraud.
Sass, representing Nebraska in the Senate, published a congratulation in the Omaha News-Herald.
“Today, we pray for both President Trump and President-elect Biden that they both show wisdom in performing their duties at this important time for our country,” said Sass, who has often criticized Trump in the past.
“Despite the political disagreements that many of us will have with the new administration, the civic duty of all Americans is the same: to root for the success of each president, to cooperate whenever possible, and to debate as actively but respectfully as possible,” Sass added.
Biden was previously congratulated by Alaska Senator Lisa Merkauski and Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who ran for president in the past.
Most Republican senators have avoided commenting publicly on the election results since the mainstream media announced Biden the winner based on votes already tallied.
Several Republican lawmakers, including Senator Lindsay Graham, have urged Trump to keep fighting. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News on Sunday that “all lawsuits must be resolved” before Americans can decide “who won the election.”