Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse – two of their few lawmakers in their party who are willing to criticize Trump – issued statements late Thursday night, taking the president on a mission to undo his loss in Michigan.
“After failing to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court, the president has now resorted to pressure on state and local officials to destroy the will of the people and cancel the election,” Romney said in a statement. , posted on Twitter. “It̵
Romney and Sasse reacted to Trump’s decision to invite Michigan’s Republican leaders to the White House on Friday as it seeks to delay or block certification of elections in key countries that went to Biden.
Sasse said in a statement that he was telling his constituents to look at what Trump’s legal team was arguing in court, not what they were saying in public.
“Based on what I read in their files, when Trump’s campaign lawyers are sworn in before the courts, they have repeatedly refused to actually claim fraud – because there are legal consequences to the judges’ lies,” Sasse said. “President Trump lost Michigan by more than 100,000 votes, and the campaign and its allies lost or withdrew from all five cases in Michigan because they were unable to present any evidence.”
Romney and Sasse’s statements are unlikely to indicate a weakening of support for Trump and his post-election campaign on lies and conspiracy theories on Capitol Hill.
Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to condemn Trump during the impeachment process earlier this year and is a frequent critic of the president. Sasse is sometimes critical of the president, embracing the president, but has intensified his criticism in recent months, including by phone at the town hall with voters ahead of the November election.
Most Republicans are urging the president to take his baseless allegations of voter fraud to court and refuse to recognize Biden as president-elect. Biden will win Electoral College by a vote of 306-232, CNN projects, the same difference that Trump won in 2016. He will also win more than 5 million more votes than Trump in the popular vote.
Sasse described the press conference as particularly dangerous.
“Wild press conferences undermine public confidence,” he said. “So no, obviously Rudy and his friends shouldn’t pressure voters to disregard their statutory certification obligations. We’re a state of laws, not tweets.”