McConnell: 'Quit All the Handwringing'; Don't Act Like Legal Challenges Are 'Extraordinary'

By Susan Jones | November 11, 2020 | 6:00am EST
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)  (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday, he's going to "let the presidential election go through the various stages that it goes through under the Constitution. There will be, apparently, litigation. Those cases will be decided."

In the meantime, he said he plans to concentrate on the business at hand in the Senate:

"I don't think we're going to have an interrupted transition to whoever is the next administration," McConnell said. "I think we ought to quit all the handwringing and not act like this is extraordinary. We're going to get through this period. And we'll swear in the winner on January the 20th, 2021, just like we have every four years since 1793."

But McConnell's measured words were slanted against him by a reporter who posed this question to Democrat Joe Biden on Tuesday:

"Mr. President-elect, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested today that he may not recognize the outcome of this election until the Electoral College meets next month. Have you spoken to your longtime friend in the Senate, Mr. McConnell? And what do you make of his specific comments over the last 24 hours?" the reporter asked.

Biden responded: "I haven't had a chance to speak to Mitch. My expectation is that I will do that in the not too distant future. I think that the old Republican Party has been put in a position, with a few notable exceptions, of being mildly intimidated by the sitting president.

"But there's only president at a time. He's president. We're going to have--the Electoral College will meet making their judgment in December. It will be announced in early January. But in the meantime, I hope to get a chance to speak to Mitch."

Biden said his campaign can get by without transition funding from the General Services Administration. "There's nothing that slows up our efforts to put things together. Obviously, the PDB (presidential daily briefing) would be useful, but it's not necessary. I'm not the sitting president now. And so we don't see anything that's slowing us down, quite frankly."

Biden on Tuesday appeared to be less concerned about Trump's election challenges and refusal to concede than were the reporters questioning him.

Here is a transcript of McConnell's exchange with reporters at Tuesday's news conference:

Question: Leader McConnell, this is the third or fourth time that the president has alleged election fraud without proof. He did it during the 2016 primaries, he did after the 2016 general election, and he's doing it now. Why do you continue to indulge him?

McConnell: Well, what I'm going to do here in the Senate is concentrate on the business that we have left to do which I mentioned a while ago; an omnibus appropriation bill, maybe another coronavirus package, and let the presidential election go through the various stages that it--that it goes through under the Constitution. There will be, apparently, litigation. Those cases will be decided. And then the Electoral College will meet and then we'll have the Inauguration. But I am going to concentrate on what we are trying to do here in the remainder of this Congress.

Question: Was there any fraud in your Senate race or any Senate race that you know of?

McConnell: I don't know. At the risk of bragging, it (McConnell's race) wasn't very close.

Question: Senator--Leader McConnell, the bipartisan 9/11 report said that the abbreviated transition period after the 2000 Gore-Bush fight contributed to the lack of security preparedness before 9/11. Shouldn't the GSA sign off on the requisite paperwork now to let the transition begin and avoid a similar crisis?

McConnell: Yeah. I--I don't think we're going to have an interrupted transition to whoever is the next administration. I think we ought to quit all the handwringing and not act like this is extraordinary. We're going to get through this period. And we'll swear in the winner on January the 20th, 2021, just like we have every four years since 1793.

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