A Republican senator for Pennsylvania has rejected Donald Trump’s baseless allegations of voter fraud in the state and described a press conference in which the US president repeated lies about the election was “hard to watch”.
Speaking on NBC’s Today show on Friday morning, senator Patrick Toomey said Mr Trump’s claims were “just not substantiated” and there was “certainly not” anything strange about the length of time taken to count votes in his state.
“Look, I saw the president’s speech last night and it was very hard to watch,” Mr Toomey said. “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.”
The senator explained vote-counting was taking a long time because state laws only allowed officials to begin counting mail-in ballots when polls closed on election day.
Pennsylvania received a high quantity of mail-in ballots this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to ravage the US. Some 1,127 people died of the disease in the country on Thursday alone.
“And the process [of counting mail-in ballots] is somewhat labour intensive,” Mr Toomey added. “So it’s taking a long time. It’s going to take the time that it takes.”
Mr Toomey said that while irregularities happen in every election, “they tend to typically be very small and involve a handful of ballots".
Republicans have been criticised for not calling out Trump’s premature claims that he has won the US presidential election and baseless allegations of widespread fraud.
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