Alabama’s new Republican senator-elect has suggested he may join Representative Mo Brooks in challenging the results of the presidential election when the new Congress convenes in January, receiving praise from Donald Trump and his supporters.
Tommy Tuberville, the rookie senator set to be sworn in on 3 January, just three days before Congress convenes to certify the results of the 2020 election, indicated this week he may join a controversial last-ditch effort to overturn Mr Trump’s resounding defeat against President-elect Joe Biden.
Despite the Electoral College confirming Mr Biden’s win and both the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security finding no credible evidence or mass voter fraud as the president has suggested, Mr Tuberville appeared to indicate he was in support of contesting the results.
Mr Tuberville was confronted by a liberal activist at a recent campaign stop for Georgia’s Republican senatorial candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the upcoming special elections, and asked if he would “fight to make this election right” in a recorded moment that went viral.
Appearing to believe that he was speaking to a supporter, the senator-elect responded: “You see what’s coming. You’ve been reading about it in the House. We’re going to have to do it in the Senate.”
Mr Tuberville said earlier to the crowd, “we’re going to get that all corrected,” seemingly referring to Mr Trump’s loss in the election.
“I’m gonna tell you: Don’t give up on [President Trump],” he said to cheers, adding: “Don’t give up on him.”
That’s because he is a great champion and man of courage. More Republican Senators should follow his lead. We had a landslide victory, and then it was swindled away from the Republican Party – but we caught them. Do something! https://t.co/nZU0czsZgB
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2020
As the senator-elect’s comments made national news, Mr Trump was quick to respond with tweets praising the former Alabama football coach, who he described as a “great champion and man of courage” in a tweet that called on other Republican senators to “follow his lead.”
“We had a landslide victory, and then it was swindled away from the Republican Party – but we caught them,” Mr Trump falsely claimed, reigniting his misleading and debunked conspiracy theories about his electoral defeat, adding: “Do something!”
In another tweet, Mr Trump said about Mr Tuberville: “Tommy will be more popular than ever before – a hero!”
Mr Brooks, the Republican congressman who said he would contest the results of the election when the new Congress convenes, would require at least one GOP senator to join him in those efforts in order to put the issue up to a vote.
But the idea of overturning Mr Trump’s defeat lacks support in the House and the Senate, where Republican leaders have called on lawmakers to move forward.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his party not to join any challenge to the national vote in a call to Republican senators earlier this week. No senators on that call expressed an interest in joining Mr Brooks.
However, several Republicans have yet to indicate whether they will abstain from joining the challenge, from Ms Loeffler in Georgia to Josh Hawley in Missouri.
Yet Mr Trump continued to heap praise onto the incoming senator, retweeting a number of his supporters expressing their hopes that the vote could be overturned if Mr Tuberville joins Mr Brooks in the controversial move.
The president and his campaign launched an all-out offensive on the electoral process in the days following his defeat, filing lawsuits in key states like Michigan, Arizona and Georgia, all of which flipped to Mr Biden.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was spearheading that legal battle by traveling to those key states and meeting with lawmakers to contest the results, often failing to provide any credible evidence and at times admitting he was not actually presenting any fraud in their lawsuits. Mr Giuliani then contracted Covid-19 and was sent to hospital in Washington.