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Sen. McConnell reacts to election results, declines to condemn President's claims

Posted at 6:04 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 18:04:23-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky delivered U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell a significant win on Tuesday night.

"I never imagined Kentuckians would make me the longest-serving senator in our state's history, or that my fellow senate republicans would make me the longest-serving Republican leader in U.S. Senate history," said McConnell in his victory speech.

But as of Wednesday afternoon, McConnell doesn't definitively know if he'll get to keep his Senate majority leader role.

"I don't know whether I'm going to be the defensive coordinator or the offensive coordinator," McConnell said in a Wednesday morning press conference.

McConnell believes Republicans are in good shape to keep a majority in the Senate. But when it comes to the presidency, McConnell says the race is still up in the air.

"We don't know who won the presidential race yet," said McConnell.

However, President Donald Trump, who is in a close race, prematurely declared victory in the early morning hours and made unproven election fraud claims.

"This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country," said Trump. "We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election."

Some Republicans criticized Trump's comments. However, McConnell held back from condemning them, saying it's not unusual for election discrepancies to be settled in court.

"You can anticipate in close elections - both sides will be lawyered up and will end up in court," said McConnell. "It's happened over and over and over again. Nothing unusual."

"The courts will decide disputes. That's the way we do it in this country," said McConnell. "Having close, disputed elections is not unusual. It happens all the time, so I don't think the president should be criticized for suggesting he may have some lawyers because the other guys are certainly already doing that."

McConnell also said it's not unusual for candidates to declare victory.

"It's not unusual for people to claim they've won the election. I can think of that happening on numerous occasions," said McConnell. "But claiming you win the election is different from finishing the count, and what we're going to see here in the next few days - both in the senate races and in the presidential race - is each state will ultimately get to a final outcome, and you should not be shocked that both sides are going to have lawyers there."