Gov Baker rips into Trump over ‘baseless claims’ of fraud
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday ripped into President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans who are supporting Trump’s refusal to accept the results of last week’s presidential election, saying it is harming the country.
“I’m dismayed to hear baseless claims coming from the president and his team and from many other elected Republican officials in Washington,” Baker said during a press conference about the coronavirus at the Statehouse.
“What this president is doing at this point in time is not in the best interest of this country,” he added.
Baker says the Trump administration “needs to move forward and cooperate with the president-elect’s transition team immediately” adding that he “can’t think of a worse time to stall a transition than amid a deadly pandemic.”
It’s not the first time Baker has been at odds with Trump. He left his ballot blank for president in 2016 and again in 2020.
“I’ve been a Republican for 40 years. I’ve raised money for Republican candidates. I’ve knocked doors for Republican candidates. I’ve answered and made phone calls for Republican candidates, but this latest move to employ the Department of Justice in all of this is so wildly inappropriate,” Baker said. “Stalling an orderly transition process, especially at a time like this is equally unacceptable.”
Attorney General William Barr has authorized the Justice Department to probe unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday there’s “no reason for alarm” as Trump, backed by Republicans in Congress, mounts unfounded legal challenges to President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
Republicans signaled they are willing to let Trump spin out his election lawsuits and unsubstantiated voter fraud claims for the next several weeks.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.
The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelops and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. With Biden leading Trump by wide margins in key battleground states, none of those issues would have any impact on the outcome of the election.
Trump’s campaign has also launched legal challenges complaining that their poll watchers were unable to scrutinize the voting process. Many of those challenges have been tossed out by judges, some within hours of their filing; and again, none of the complaints show any evidence that the outcome of the election was impacted.
Baker said state level Republican officials were involved in the vote-counting process. He said he’s not aware of any legal claims anywhere near the scale it would take to effect the outcome of the election.
“If the Trump campaign has legitimate legal challenges they should bring them to court and a court should deal with those as quickly and as fairly as possible,” he said. “Continuing to make these claims erodes trust in the system.”