House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy attends a bill-signing ceremony in the Oval Office on April 24.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that there was nothing wrong with President Donald Trump’s calling a Wayne County, Mich., election official amid continued efforts by Republicans to overturn the state’s election result.
“I don’t know who the president called, but the president is an American citizen. He can find out any facts that are going on,” McCarthy told reporters at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol.
The Washington Post reported one of the two Republican members of the county election canvassing board said she had received a call from Trump after an hours-long panel meeting Tuesday that ultimately, after an initial deadlock met with outrage, led to the certification of the Wayne County results. The two GOP board members later said they wanted to rescind their certification votes.
“I know a number of members who call their election officials and ask how many votes are left, when is the count going to take place, are there provisional ballots, how many are within my district?” McCarthy told reporters.
Trump has refused to concede the election, which has been called in Democrat Joe Biden’s favor by major news outlets’ decision desks for nearly two weeks, and his administration has declined to begin the transition process, leading critics to charge Trump is trying to hold on to power.
McCarthy defended Trump on Thursday, again saying he has a right to exhaust his legal remedies. “If, at the end of the day, when every legal vote is counted, when every recount is finished and every legal challenge is heard, yeah, people will accept what the results are,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy declined, however, to directly answer when asked whether he supported delaying state certifications to allow state legislatures to name a different slate of electors from those approved by voters. Speculation has pointed to that as one avenue Trump could pursue to force the vote ultimately into the House of Representatives for a decision.
“The states should finish their work,” McCarthy said.