These Republican senators personally congratulated Harris on winning VP — while publicly denying Biden won

These Republican senators personally congratulated Harris on winning VP — while publicly denying Biden won
Photo via Gage Skidmore.

When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris returned to the Senate floor this week, some Republican senators congratulated her on her victory in the 2020 election. And ironically, journalist Tom Porter reports in Business Insider, these congratulations came at a time when many Republicans in Congress won't even acknowledge that the Joe Biden/Harris ticket won.

President-elect Biden's victory over the outgoing President Donald Trump was decisive. In addition to winning 306 electoral votes and flipping several states that Trump won in 2016 — including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia — Biden defeated Trump by more than 5 million in the popular vote. Regardless, Trump and many of his supporters are claiming, without evidence, that the election was stolen from the president because of rampant voter fraud. And Trump has yet to concede.

Business Insider's Tom Porter reports that the Republican senators who congratulated Harris on the Senate floor this week included Tim Scott, James Lankford, Ben Sasse and Mike Rounds. Sasse, according to Porter, is the only one of the four who has publicly acknowledged that Biden won and that Sen. Harris is now VP-elect and will be sworn in as vice president in January 2021.

CNN reporter Manu Raju, Porter notes, "told CNN's Anderson Cooper that when he asked Lankford about his remarks to Harris, the senator said that he was simply being polite and that the gesture didn't mean he was conceding Biden's victory."

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, was cordial with Harris as well — offering her a friendly fist bump. But Graham has been outspoken in promoting the nonsense conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from Trump because of widespread voter fraud and has encouraged Trump to refrain from conceding. Moreover, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has accused Graham of trying to pressure him into throwing out absentee ballots in Georgia counties that favored Biden. Graham has doing denied that, but according to CNN, Gabriel Sterling — an election implementation manager in Georgia — has said that Raffensperger's description of his conversation with Graham is accurate.

Porter explains, "Graham has been one of the most vocal defenders of Trump's baseless claims questioning the integrity of the election. Earlier this week, Georgia's top election official said Graham had tried to get him to throw out thousands of ballots in several counties. Biden was ultimately projected the winner of the state."

November 17 marked Harris' first return to the Senate since Biden's victory. The California senator/VP-elect returned to the Senate to vote against the nomination of Judy Shelton, a former Trump campaign adviser, for a seat on the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

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