U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander says Trump should 'congratulate' Biden after Electoral College vote

Natalie Allison
Nashville Tennessean

Donald Trump should "put the country first" and congratulate President-elect Joe Biden after state electors meet Monday to cast their ballots and finalize the presidential election, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said Wednesday.

Speaking to Capitol Hill reporters, Alexander reiterated previous comments that he believes Biden will be the next president, despite Trump continuing a series of unsuccessful legal challenges over election results.

Many of Alexander's fellow Republican colleagues, including Tennessee U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, still support Trump's efforts to try to hold on to the presidency.

A quick guide:Trump’s lawsuits dispute election results as presidency is called for Biden

"I think the votes are being counted, and states are certifying them and resolving disputes," said Alexander, who is retiring from the Senate in January. 

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 30, 2020, before the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

"And it's apparent when electors meet on Monday, Joe Biden is very likely to be the President-elect. And if he is, I hope the President will put the country first, congratulate Joe Biden and take pride in his considerable accomplishments, and help him off to a good start."

Alexander's comments echoed remarks he made Nov. 23 when he called on Trump to "help the new administration succeed" by allowing the transition to begin.

Alexander said Wednesday it is "especially important" the transition is orderly due to vaccine distribution starting.

"We don't need to lose one hour or one day in that distribution," he said.

The retiring Tennessee senator and former governor is among a small number of Senate Republicans who have acknowledged Biden's victory as legitimate.

Related:Staff of U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn says she misspoke by calling Biden 'president-elect'

Electors in each state will meet Monday to cast their ballots for president and vice president. Slates of electors are determined ahead of the election. The slate chosen for each state's Dec. 14 meeting is based on which presidential candidate received a majority of votes in that state.

Reach Natalie Allison at nallison@tennessean.com. Follow her on Twitter at @natalie_allison.

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