Republican senator Susan Collins reached out to president-elect Joe Biden on Monday to congratulate him on his victory, making her just the third Republican in the Senate to do so, as the president and many of his GOP allies maintain he hasn’t lost the election.
“First, I would offer my congratulations to President-elect Biden on his apparent victory—he loves this country, and I wish him every success,” Ms Collins said in a statement posted on Twitter.
She also urged Americans to be patient as the election process concluded.
“The process has not failed our country in more than 200 years, and it is not going to fail our country this year,” she said in the statement.
Ms Collins, who occasionally went against the president, including a vote not to confirm Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett, joins two other more moderate GOP senators who’ve reached out to Mr Biden, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
In addition to offering congratulations, Mr Romney also said in a statement the Trump campaign’s continued unsubstantiated allegations that the election was rigged on behalf of Democrats “damages the cause of freedom here and around the world.”
Other prominent Republican senators more closely aligned with the president have yet to do so, including majority leader Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, who has said he stands with the president, who has repeatedly declared himself the victor.
The split reflects what’s happening in the US government and the two campaigns vying to control it.
The Biden camp has begun its transition team, while Trump campaign lawsuits challenge election results and procedures across the country. The government agency responsible for the presidential transition also has not formally recognized Mr Biden as president-elect.
Internally, some Trump advisers have urged him to concede, while others, like vice president Mike Pence, insist the election isn’t over.
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