It’s the video President Donald Trump doesn’t want to see.
While his legal team continues to fight the apparent results of the 2020 election, behind-the-scenes his allies on Capitol Hill seem to be abandoning him.
When Kamala Harris returned to the Senate this week for the first time as vice president-elect, her Republican colleagues offered their congratulations and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., greeted her with a fist bump.
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It was a sign that many Republicans have privately abandoned Trump, despite refusing to say openly that Democrat Joe Biden and Harris won the election and will take office in January.
Republican efforts to maintain a public face of support for the president began to deteriorate on Wednesday.
Backroom whispers about the uphill nature of Trump’s legal fight have become louder after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared in a Pennsylvania courtroom this week seeking to undo the election results.
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Asked about the case, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said, “Let me just say, I don’t think they have a strong case.”
And when White House chief of staff Mark Meadows visited with Senate Republicans, he encouraged them to “make the most” of their remaining time with Trump, according to two senators.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the message from Meadows was “basically just that we got about 45 days left of the president’s term.” Meadows told them the administration wanted to make sure that if the senators “had ideas of things that the White House could and should do during that period of time, that we got them to him.”
But even then, there remained a glimmer of hope.
“But he did, I have to be honest with you, he did say whether it’s 45 days or four years and 45 days,” Cornyn added.
Trump has declined to concede the presidential race and is mounting legal fights in several states. The Trump-appointed head of the General Services Administration has held off on formally beginning the Biden transition to the White House while the legal fights are settled.
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Trump’s refusal to accept the results means the election disputes could drag on for weeks as states certify their tallies or push to mid-December, when the Electoral College is set to vote.
A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed that while 95% of Democrats believe the election was “fair and square,” only 18% of Republicans do, while 70% of GOP voters believe some voter fraud took place.
The Associated Press contributed to this article