'The Electoral College has spoken': Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially congratulates Biden as 'president-elect'

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday officially congratulated President-elect Joe Biden for winning the 2020 election.
  • "The Electoral College has spoken … so today I want to congratulate president-elect Joe Biden," McConnell said on the Senate floor.
  • He is the highest profile Republican so far to acknowledge Biden's victory and the latest GOP lawmaker to do so after the Electoral College officially certified Biden as the winner on Monday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday congratulated President-elect Joe Biden for winning the 2020 general election.

"The Electoral College has spoken … so today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

On Monday, Biden officially clinched 306 Electoral College votes to secure the presidency. In the hours since, a string of Republican lawmakers have acknowledged his victory, including Sens. Roy Blunt and Mike Braun. Others, like South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, stopped just short of congratulating Biden while conceding that President Donald Trump has a "very, very narrow path" to overturning the election results.

"I don't see how it gets there from here, given what the Supreme Court did," Graham said, referring to the high court's rejection of a brazen and far-fetched effort by Texas to throw out the election results in four battleground states. "But having said that, I think we'll let those legal challenges play out."

McConnell waited 42 days to congratulate Biden and is the highest profile Republican so far to do so. His acknowledgement Tuesday comes as Trump continues falsely claiming that he is the rightful winner of the election and that the race was illegally stolen from him.

As Business Insider has reported, the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history, and there is no evidence that widespread voter or election fraud marred the results of the race. That fact has been confirmed by the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and a nonpartisan group of state and local election officials.

The Trump campaign and key Republican officials have filed 40 legal challenges since Election Day seeking to nullify the results of the race and haven't won a single case. Overall, according to the Washington Post, at least 86 judges across the country, from the state level all the way to the Supreme Court, have rejected at least one legal challenge brought by Trump or his allies.

Still, the vast majority of Republicans either actively backed the president or remained silent as he spun bogus conspiracy theories about election-rigging; demonized officials who administered the election and carried out their legal duty to tally the results; and suggested that Republicans who participated in certifying Biden's win were traitors to the party.

On Monday, outgoing Republican Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan announced that he was so disappointed by the GOP's deference to Trump that he was leaving the party altogether.

It is "unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third-world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote," Mitchell wrote in a letter to Republican leaders. To that end, he said, he is withdrawing his "engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level."

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