Maine’s congressional delegation blasted outgoing President Donald Trump for his weekend phone call pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to find “11,780” votes to tilt the 2020 election in his favor.
U.S. Sen. Angus King on Sunday strongly condemned Trump’s move to overturn Georgia’s election results, saying it “would make Richard Nixon blush.”
“Let’s call this what it is: an overt, corrupt attempt to overturn the will of the voters,” said King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats.
In a recorded phone call on Saturday, Trump turned up the heat on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as the Republican president continues to undermine the 2020 presidential election, according to the Associated Press. Trump is the first incumbent president in 30 years to lose reelection.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump told Raffensperger. Democrat Joe Biden won the state by 11,779 votes.
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Raffensperger, a Republican who has often been a target of Trump’s ire since his loss at the ballot box, pushed back against Trump, calling his data “wrong” and saying “we believe our numbers are right.”
Trump and his allies have lost more than 50 court cases, including two at the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to undo the results of the November election, according to the Associated Press.
Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said in a statement to the Portland Press Herald on Sunday evening that the election is “over,” and that “it is too late to find votes.”
“The people have voted, the electors have voted, and the Congress will formally count the votes on Jan. 6. A new Congress was sworn in today and a new President will be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” Collins said.
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine’s 1st District, called Trump’s “contempt” for the outcome of the election a “stain on the presidency.”
“An outgoing President has never so aggressively abused his office to cling to power, power the voters made clear that they no longer trust him to have,” Pingree said.
U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from Maine’s 2nd District, echoed Collins’ declaration that the election is over, noting that repeated appeals and recounts have failed to alter the outcome.
“Voters have spoken, and our democratic and legal processes have been allowed to play out,” Golden said in a statement to the Press Herald.
Trump’s last-ditch effort to reverse his loss in Georgia comes just ahead of Tuesday’s Senate runoff there that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate and Congress’ ceremonial certifying of the Electoral College results on Wednesday.
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A dozen Republican senators and nearly 100 representatives have pledged to challenge the certification over unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, according to the Associated Press.
That move has drawn a sharp rebuke from current and former lawmakers, including Collins and King, who said in a joint statement that “further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results.”
On Sunday, King voices fears that the unprecedented assault on the legitimacy of the 2020 election is tearing at “the fabric of our democracy,” pointing to a recent poll that found more than 70 percent of Republicans don’t believe the election was legitimate.
“We are experiencing one of the most serious assaults upon our country’s democratic system in American history. … These efforts are profoundly unpatriotic and stand no chance of succeeding, but their certain outcome is the undermining of the faith of Americans in their democratic system — and dividing our people for short-term personal or partisan gain,” King said.