Speed Reads

election 2020

Republican official asks what the 'downside' is of 'humoring' Trump after election loss

At least one senior Republican official is evidently looking to continue "humoring" President Trump as he baselessly claims he's being cheated out of a 2020 election victory.

Days after Democratic nominee Joe Biden was projected by all major media outlets as the winner of the presidential election, Trump has yet to concede the race, and his campaign is pursuing legal efforts to challenge the results in numerous battleground states. Though experts say there's essentially no chance of these legal options affecting the outcome of the election, one Republican official told The Washington Post they're fine with entertaining Trump while being confident his efforts won't succeed.

"What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time?" a senior Republican official told the Post. "No one seriously thinks the results will change. He went golfing this weekend. It's not like he's plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on Jan. 20. He's tweeting about filing some lawsuits, those lawsuits will fail, then he'll tweet some more about how the election was stolen, and then he'll leave."

This notion quickly drew criticism, with former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeting, "I'll tell you what the downside is..selling your soul to this guy and in the process permanently damaging the cornerstone of our democracy..Faith in fair elections." She added, "You are supposed to be leaders, not grief counselors."

Just a handful of Republicans in the Senate have acknowledged that Biden won the election so far, among them Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), The New York Times notes. Republican lawmakers like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have said Trump is within his rights to pursue his legal options. Despite this, the Post reports that "behind the scenes, Trump advisers and allies are increasingly resigned to a Biden victory."