Republican senators have been reluctant to comment on or condemn President Donald Trump’s request that the Georgia secretary of state “find” votes to overturn the state’s election results Monday.
Few of the Republicans who announced they would object to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win have commented on the call. The leaders of that effort, Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, declined and did not respond respectively to requests for comment from the Daily Caller. Even some of Trump’s critics within the party have remained silent, with Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse not responding to multiple requests for comment. Sasse has previously made clear his opposition to Trump’s attempts to overturn Biden’s victory.
Cruz also “completely” dodged questions about the call while campaigning in Georgia on Sunday, according to the Washington Post.
Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn — who joined Hawley and Cruz in their support of Trump — said Trump’s call was “not a helpful call,” but did not criticize the president outright.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn on Fox News when asked about the GA call: “Brian, one of the things, I think, that everyone are has said is that this call was not a helpful call…We do not have federalized elections in this country. We do not want federalized elections in this country.”
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) January 4, 2021
Georgia Sen. David Perdue, one of two Republican senators up for reelection in the critical Wednesday Georgia runoffs, brushed it off. He told Fox News on Sunday that it wouldn’t affect his election and that Trump only “wants some answers.” The other Republican up for election in Georgia, Kelley Loeffler, has not commented on the call at time of publication.
Republican North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer argued on CNBC that there was nothing wrong with the phone call.
“I frankly don’t find the offense that a lot of people see in it,” he said. “When you listen to all 62 minutes, he was going through some pretty basic math. He believes, of course, that there was fraud [on] several fronts.”
On the call recording Trump can be heard asking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the results. (RELATED: Georgia Senators Loeffler, Perdue Release Joint Statement Calling On GA Secretary Of State To Resign)
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state,” Trump said on the call. Biden won the state by 11,779 votes according to final tallies.
Raffensperger has since floated that Trump may have opened himself up to criminal charges with the call, though he said he has no plans to pursue charges through his office according to previous reporting.