Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — who recently won re-election — has issued a new public statement in which she condemns recent tactics that President Donald Trump has employed in his fight against the election results. Amidst his flurry of court losses, Trump has recently turned to direct pressure on state officials. He’s touted the lie, for instance, that top state officials in Georgia have been blocking adequate election security measures, and he also recently invited top Michigan officials to the White House in what ABC noted seemed to be part of an anti-democratic effort to get an option on the table of giving a state’s electoral votes to Trump no matter who won the state’s popular vote.
Besides these developments, the Trump administration has also been blocking the Biden transition team from accessing federal resources, although the president doesn’t seem to have a direct hand in this issue. The General Services Administration, which is a federal agency, has so far refused to officially “ascertain” that Joe Biden is, in fact, the president-elect, and their refusal to confirm his victory means that the Biden transition team has been blocked from government resources that they’re supposed to be receiving. Trump offers tacit support to the GSA’s perspective with his refusal to accept the election results.
Now, Sen. Collins says as follows:
‘The President-elect should be receiving the briefings, office space, and access to government resources he needs to be ready to govern on Inauguration Day. There is a right way and a wrong way for the incumbent President to pursue his rights to contest what he perceives as election irregularities. The right way is to compile the evidence and mount legal challenges in our courts. The wrong way is to attempt to pressure state election officials. That undermines the public’s faith in our election results without evidence and court rulings to support the allegations. The states should proceed to certify their election results as scheduled.’
Read Collins’s full statement below:
“The President-elect should be receiving the briefings, office space, and access to government resources he needs to be ready to govern on Inauguration Day,” GOP @SenSusanCollins
Full statement also criticizes Trump pressure on state election officials: pic.twitter.com/7ZMK7dZjMb
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 21, 2020
Besides Trump’s recent meeting with top officials from Michigan, he also directly reached out to two Republican members of a county canvassing board in Michigan, whose job it is to certify the county’s election results before officially submitting the data to the state. After Trump’s outreach, these canvassing board members attempted to rescind their earlier votes in favor of certifying the county’s results, but there’s no legal way by which they could actually do so. The Michigan state officials, in contrast, shunned the president’s pressure — after meeting with Trump, Michigan’s state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and state House Speaker Lee Chatfield asserted that “the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan’s electoral votes” — no matter what Trump or his allies want.