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No Republicans question election ‘legitimacy,’ says party leader

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US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left) insisted that no one in his Republican Party is questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election, even as ex-president Donald Trump and other Republicans do so on a regular basis./AFP
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May 13, 2021 - 10:17 AM

WASHINGTON — The top US House Republican said Wednesday that no one in his party questions Joe Biden’s presidential victory, shortly after they ousted a Trump critic from leadership for refusing to embrace the ex-president’s baseless claims of election fraud.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had been in a two-hour White House meeting with Biden and the three other congressional leaders, where they discussed potential cooperation on large-ticket priorities like infrastructure.

McCarthy, desperate to tamp down the view that his party is spreading the falsehood that the election was stolen, emerged from the meeting trying to paper over obvious differences among Republicans as they gear up for next year’s midterm elections.

“I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election,” he said, making no reference to Trump and the many Republican lawmakers who regularly raise concerns about the vote’s integrity.

“I think that is all over with,” McCarthy said. “We’re sitting here with the president today.”

McCarthy’s remarks came just hours after Republicans voted to jettison Liz Cheney, a conservative stalwart and fierce Trump critic, from her role as the party’s number three leader in the House.

McCarthy argues that the move was a unifying step that will allow Republicans to focus on countering the Democrats’ liberal agenda rather than obsessing over Trump.

Cheney has claimed she was being ousted because she refused to go along with what she called “the big lie,” propagated by Trump and other Republicans, that Democrats stole the election.

As recently as Tuesday Trump released a statement stressing that the 2020 election was “rigged and stolen from us.”

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