'Stuck in the denial stage of grief': GOP lawmakers fear being 'traitors to the president’ — even as the Trump ship goes down

'Stuck in the denial stage of grief': GOP lawmakers fear being 'traitors to the president’ — even as the Trump ship goes down
Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

According to Politico, members of the Trump administration are refusing to stand their ground against President Donald Trump's outrageous and inaccurate claims of electoral victory out of fear of being seen as "traitors to the president." Although President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election almost two weeks ago, government agencies are still at a halt when it comes to transferring power. Publicly, many are still focused on the false hope of Trump staying in office for a second term.

There is reportedly an "unspoken rule," circulating around the White House, that is keeping the administration outwardly focused on Trump's agenda. Officials understand they are not to acknowledge that Biden has won the election. That rule has also been adopted by pro-Trump groups, conservative groups and even some conservative networks. In fact, an unnamed person employed with a well-known conservative non-profit organization revealed the backlash he faced over an email that mentioned the reality of a Biden victory.

"I sent out a weekly email and mentioned something about a potential Biden administration and the fallout was ridiculous," said an employee at one prominent conservative nonprofit.

As the presidential inauguration nears, there are concerns from top federal agencies about the lack of preparedness and national security concerns that may arise as a result of their actions. By staying closely connected to the president, Republicans also run the risk of damaging their own legacy and party's reputation. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) weighed in on Republicans' infighting:

"Republicans can't afford to get stuck in the denial stage of grief," Sasse said. "We've got some big fights ahead, and it'd be prudent for Republicans to be focused on the governance challenges facing our center-right nation."

As Trump appears to be neglecting his presidential role to focus on his post-election legal battle, Republicans are becoming more concerned about the Senate run-off in Georgia. It remains unclear whether Trump's presence will help or hinder the Senate candidates, which will also determine the future of the Senate. One elected Republican also expressed concern about how Trump's influence and false sense of hope could impact his supporters' voter turnout for the Georgia runoff.

"The winning narrative in Georgia would be that Republicans need the Senate to counter Joe Biden and [Vice President-elect] Kamala Harris when they're in office," said one prominent elected Republican. "The problem is you can't make that case effectively when you've got the president telling some of his voters, 'Don't worry, Joe Biden is not going to be president.'"

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