Republican senators fist-bump and congratulate Kamala Harris on floor of Senate – despite publicly denying she and Joe Biden have won
- Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was greeted on the Senate floor Tuesday with fist-bumps and congratulations by Republican lawmakers
- They included Sens. James Lankford and Lindsey Graham, who have given President Donald Trump cover to not concede the election
- Afterward, Lankford said he was being polite and told CNN that ‘the election is not settled’
- Graham is taking heat for a conversation he had with Georgia’s secretary of state, which was interpreted as a push to toss out legal ballots
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was greeted on the Senate floor Tuesday with fist-bumps and congratulations by some of the same Republicans who have publicly denied she and President-elect Joe Biden have won the election.
Reporters on Capitol Hill, along with C-SPAN’s cameras, captured Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and top ally to President Donald Trump, giving Harris, a senator from California, a fist-bump.
Additionally, Sens. Tim Scott, Mike Rounds, James Lankford and Ben Sasse all wished her congratulations, CNN reported.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (right) gives Vice President-elect Kamala Harris a fist-bump on the Senate floor Tuesday, after giving President Donald Trump cover to challenge the presidential election results. Harris is also surrounded by Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Chris Coons
The election was called 10 days ago by the major news networks for Biden and Harris, yet Trump has refused to concede.
He’s stayed out of sight publicly, appearing briefly in the White House Rose Garden Friday, and driving to his Virginia golf club Saturday and Sunday.
On Monday, Trump continued to contend that he ‘won’ the election.
Meanwhile, his GOP allies on Capitol Hill have given the president cover to challenge the election though legal means, cases he continues to lose.
Speaking to CNN after he wished Harris congratulations, Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, said he was just being polite.
‘The election is not settled,’ Lankford said. ‘So if you are trying to catch it and spin it however you want to – if someone walks right up to you, you say, “Hello, congratulations.”‘
Lankford also said last week that he was OK with Biden starting to receive intelligence briefings and that he’d ‘step in’ if the briefings didn’t happen, but then he walked back that statement when appearing on the more conservative Newsmax TV.
‘I’m not in a hurry, necessarily, to get Joe Biden these briefings,’ Lankford said over the weekend. ‘It’s been interesting how the media, the national media – not this network, but others – have twisted this term “step in.” I happen to chair the committee that oversees GSA. That is the entity that has to be able to make this call.’
Later, he edited his comments again.
‘I did step in. I did talk to them on Friday,’ Lankford said on CNN.
The General Services Administration needs to green light the transition, and a Trump official in charge has thus far refused to do so.
Graham’s fist-bump with Harris was also notable as the South Carolina Republican has come under fire for a call he made to Georgia’s Republican secretary of state.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told The Washington Post Monday that he was unnerved by a call he received from Graham Friday.
The senator had asked Raffensperger if he was able to toss out every mail-in ballot from Georgia counties where there was a higher rate of non-matching signatures from voters.
Raffensperger believed Graham was asking that he disqualify legally cast votes.
Trump is behind Biden in Georgia, a previously red state, by a narrow margin, with a hand recount expected to wrap up Wednesday.
Graham has denied he pressured Raffensperger to toss out ballots.