Tom Cotton: Trump doesn't have to concede because Democrats were mean to him

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Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton echoed debunked conspiracy theories about Trump's loss.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) claimed on Thursday that Donald Trump is justified in refusing to acknowledge his defeat and blocking President-elect Joe Biden from beginning his transition.

His false rationale: Democrats did it too.

Appearing on Fox News, Cotton referred to "troubling instances of fraud" in the 2020 presidential election, even though bipartisan election officials have found no instances of fraud playing any role in the outcome.

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"They are still counting votes in Arizona. They're gonna do a manual recount in Georgia. There are lawsuits filed in other states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. I think we have the time to let the president pursue all of these remedies," he demanded.

Cotton then made a series of dishonest arguments that Trump's attempt at a coup is no different from actions taken by Democrats in the past, comparing Trump's attempts to stall the inevitable to a federal investigation into foreign interference in a U.S. election.

He continues to echo conspiracy theories that call the investigation a Democratic witch hunt against Trump.

"I don't remember these Democrats in 2000 telling Al Gore the week after the election that it was time to concede and, of course, Democrats in 2016 never really did concede. They immediately moved to the fake Russia collusion hoax and tried to undermine the legitimacy of the president's first term," he charged. "So I think we have more than enough time to reach an orderly resolution using existing legal procedures to ensure that every legal vote counts and no illegal votes are counted."

Biden won the presidential 2020 election by a wide margin in both the popular vote and the Electoral College.

At this point after the 2000 election, a winner had not yet been determined in Florida, a few hundred votes separated Gore and George W. Bush, and elections officials had not completed their work.

The election results this year were nowhere near as close, and Trump's margins of defeat, even in the states in which they were narrowest, were at least 10,000 votes.

Cotton's claim about the 2016 election is absolutely false. Hillary Clinton conceded defeat a day after that election. "Donald Trump is going to be our president," she told the nation. "We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead." President Barack Obama invited Trump to the White House and offered his help with an orderly transition.

Trump's own Department of Justice — not "Democrats" — appointed special counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 to investigate possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. That investigation documented at least 10 distinct instances of possible obstruction of justice by Trump and yielded dozens of indictments, convictions, and guilty pleas.

While Trump has filed a series of lawsuits to give the impression that the election is still ongoing, most have already been rejected or would do nothing to meaningfully change the results.

GOP strategist Karl Rove acknowledged on Wednesday that Trump's efforts "are unlikely to move a single state from Mr. Biden's column, and certainly they're not enough to change the final outcome."

But while Cotton is fine with Trump's delaying the inevitable, his intransigence is harming the incoming administration's ability to hit the ground running. Because the outgoing administration refuses to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect, he is unable to receive classified briefings, talk to government agencies, or begin security clearance checks for possible hires.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.