McConnell Speaks

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the first time acknowledged Joe Biden's victory and referred to him as President-elect, six weeks after Election Day and amid President Donald Trump's continued refusal to accept defeat.

"The electoral college has spoken," McConnell said in remarks from the Senate floor in the US Capitol, adding, "Today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden."

McConnell's comments are significant given that many Senate Republicans still wouldn't recognize Biden's victory on Monday evening even after the Electoral College made the win official.

Behind the scenes, McConnell also urged Republican senators on a private conference call not to join House members on January 6 to object to state electoral results, a source on the call tells CNN, when Congress formally counts the Electoral College votes and members of Congress can object. Other top Republicans -- including Senate Majority Whip John Thune and Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt -- echoed that sentiment. Doing so, they said, would be fruitless and force them to cast a politically challenging vote against the President that day.

Democrats have criticized Republicans' refusal to accept the outcome of the Election, and highlighted how it took more than 40 days since Americans went to the polls for many GOP members of Congress to speak up.

Top Senate Republicans are officially accepting President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 victory after the Electoral College confirmed his win on Monday.

Their acceptance of the president-elect's victory comes nearly six weeks after the Nov. 3 election, as President Trump refuses to concede while making claims of widespread voter fraud that have so far been unsubstantiated.

"The Electoral College has spoken, so today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday on the Senate floor. "The president-elect is no stranger to the Senate. He's devoted himself to public service for many years."

Sen. Mitch McConnell acknowledged and congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the Senate floor after the Electoral College officially cast their votes. NBC's Monica Alba and Geoff Bennett discuss the impact the senator's message will have.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly urged GOP senators to refrain from objecting to electoral votes when it comes time to count them in Congress next month, making the remarks on a caucus call Tuesday.

McConnell, who formally recognized Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president-elect and vice president-elect on Tuesday, reportedly told colleagues that an objection “isn’t in the best interest of everybody,” per the Hill:

McConnell warned that any GOP senator who signed onto a House Republican objection to a state’s electoral votes would then force the Senate to debate and vote on the objection, putting fellow GOP senators in a bad position.

McConnell was not the only Republican leader to make the request, with Republican Whip Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rules Committee Chairman Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) making the same call, though there is no indication, currently, that any GOP senators plan to object to the results.

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