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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ignored President Trump’s wild claims of widespread election fraud, sending out a sober tweet this morning.

‘Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes,’ the Kentucky Republican wrote. ‘That’s how Americans’ votes decide the result.’

McConnell’s comments came after a number of Republicans in and out of office have criticized Trump’s Thursday evening briefing room appearance.

His statement was markedly different in tone from that of the House’s GOP leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who tweeted mid-day today, ‘Far from over. Republicans will not back down from this battle.’

But support for Trump was starting to crumble.

Pennsylvania’s Republican Sen. Pat Toomey gave an unprompted slap-down of Trump’s election fraud claims during a Friday morning ‘Today’ show interview.

‘I saw the president’s speech last night and it was very hard to watch,’ Toomey told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. ‘The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here.’

Toomey joined the slowly growing ranks of Republicans willing to speak out against the president after his spent 17 minutes rambling about a vast conspiracy against him by big tech, big donors, social media, the media in general, pollsters and Democrats.

At least seven networks, including major broadcasters ABC, CBS and NBC, cut away from him as he spoke, saying he made ‘a number of false statements’.

Toomey explained that in Pennsylania, the state that could clinch the White House for Democrat Joe Biden as early as Friday, ‘We had a massive quantity of mail-in ballots.’

‘And election officials did a tremendous amount of work to be prepared to process this, but they weren’t allowed to start until election day and the process is somewhat labor intensive, so it is taking a long time, it is going to take the time that it takes,’ Toomey said.

Toomey echoed his statements when he also appeared on CBS ‘This Morning.’

‘The president’s speech last night was very disturbing to me because he made very very serious allegations without any evidence to support it,’ he said on CBS.

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney put out a stronger critique today than he did on the heels of the president’s remarks.

Romney said that while Trump has the right to request recounts or have irregularities investigated – he must provide evidence.

‘He was wrong to say the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen – doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic, and recklessly inflames destruction and dangerous passions,’ Romney said.

Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and a Trump ally, accused the president of ‘inflaming without informing’ urging him to ‘show us the evidence.’

Larry Hogan, Republican governor of Maryland, said there is ‘no defense’ for Trump’s comments, adding: ‘No person is more important than democracy.’

‘There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,’ Hogan tweeted. ‘America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy.’

And Adam Kinzinger, a Republican representative from Illinois, added: ‘If you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court.

‘STOP Spreading debunked misinformation… This is getting insane.’

Trump appeared for 17 minutes in front of the press, reading notes out of a binder, and complained about ‘suppression’ polls, mail-in ballots, Democratic cities including Detroit and Philadelphia.

He said he was the victim of a ‘big media, big money and big tech’ conspiracy.

Those forces came together to commit ‘historic election interference.’

Trump didn’t offer any proof – nor did he take questions.

Kinzinger was joined by two former Republican members of the U.S. Senate, Rick Santorum and Jeff Flake, in castigating Trump’s remarks.

‘No Republican should be okay with the President’s statements just now. Unacceptable. Period,’ tweeted Flake, who’s long been a Trump critic

Santorum was on a panel on-air at CNN following Trump’s speech.

‘I hope that Republicans will stand up at this moment and say to Trump what needs to be said,’ Santorum said.

Rep. Paul Mitchell, a Michigan Republican, said that ‘our nation demands that its political leaders accept both wins and losses with grace and maturity.’

‘Every legal vote should and will be counted – as they always are. Where there are issues there are ways to address them. If anyone has proof of wrongdoing, it should be presented and resolved. Anything less harms the integrity of our elections and is dangerous for our democracy,’ he also said.

William Cogswell, who just won a seat in the South Carolina House, also slammed the president.

‘As a Republican who just won in a Blue district, I am embarrassed and ashamed by what I just heard from POTUS,’ Cogswell tweeted.

Of course, Democrats were critical too.

‘No American, regardless of political party, should be okay with the president’s statements. Unacceptable. Dangerous. Period,’ wrote Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat who represents Maryland.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, portrayed Trump as unhinged.

‘The president needs help. Those were the rantings of a desperate, defeated man,’ he tweeted. ‘The most dishonest speech ever delivered from behind the presidential seal. He is trying to set our democracy on fire. Where is the “party of the Constitution” now?’

And Rep. Katherine Clark, Massachusetts Democrat, begged other Republicans to speak out.

‘Republican colleagues, our democracy needs you,’ she wrote. ‘Speak up for voters and against Trump’s false attacks on the integrity of our elections. Show us that you love this country and everything we stand for.’


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