A group of over 100 former national security officials and Republican former members of Congress published a statement Monday calling on GOP leaders to publicly demand President Donald Trump concede the election.
“We believe that President Trump’s refusal to concede the election and allow for an orderly transition constitutes a serious threat to America’s democratic process and to our national security,” the former officials wrote in their statement.
“We therefore call on Republican leaders ― especially those in Congress ― to publicly demand that President Trump cease his anti-democratic assault on the integrity of the presidential election,” the statement continued.
The signatories include former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.
In their letter, the former officials noted that Trump has presented “no evidence of widespread fraud or any other significant irregularities” and that nearly every lawsuit filed by his campaign across multiple states has been dismissed.
“Although some Republican leaders have supported President Trump’s right to challenge aspects of the voting in various states, for the good of the country, they should now strongly oppose his dangerous and extra-legal efforts to intimidate state election officials and distort the Electoral College process,” they wrote.
“By encouraging President Trump’s delaying tactics or remaining silent, Republican leaders put American democracy and national security at risk,” they added.
The number of top Republicans who have publicly recognized Joe Biden as president-elect has slowly grown in recent days, though most GOP senators have either refused to do so or remained silent on the matter.
Some ― like Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas ― have enthusiastically encouraged Trump to pursue legal challenges and have stated there is still a path to victory for the president, despite early election results indicating otherwise.
Asked for a response to the former officials’ statement, an aide for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) referred The Washington Post to remarks McConnell made last week about Trump’s refusal to concede.
“In all of these presidential elections we go through this process. What we all say about it is frankly irrelevant,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday. “All of it will happen right on time, and we will swear in the next administration on January 20.”
Visit The Washington Post to read the former officials’ full statement.