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‘Put up or move on’: Exasperated Republican congressman urges Trump to accept election defeat

Griffin Connolly
·3-min read
Supporters of Donald Trump have taken the president’s rhetoric to heart about a stolen election, despite nearly all of his legal challenges falling flat in the courts. (Getty Images)
Supporters of Donald Trump have taken the president’s rhetoric to heart about a stolen election, despite nearly all of his legal challenges falling flat in the courts. (Getty Images)

A lone Michigan Republican lawmaker has once again urged Donald Trump to accept the fact that Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election.

Congressman Paul Mitchell, who is retiring in January after deciding not to seek re-election this fall, tweeted at the outgoing president on Friday that it is “past time to ‘put up’ or move on” if he can’t prove his claims that the 2020 election was swung by widespread voter fraud.

Mr Trump suggested in a tweet earlier on Friday that he would not leave the White House until President-elect Joe Biden proved he received his more than 80m votes legally.

“Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous ‘80,000,000 votes’ were not fraudulently or illegally obtained. When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!” the president wrote in a tweet that was immediately flagged by Twitter for containing “disputed” claims about election fraud.

Mr Mitchell pointed out — correctly — that the burden of proof is not on Mr Biden, but on Mr Trump himself to back up his claims of voter fraud.

So far, the Trump campaign has been overwhelmingly unsuccessful in its court challenges to election results in several key swing states, such as Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

“Clearly Thanksgiving did not provide you any additional perspective. [Mr Trump], the burden of providing clear evidence of fraud rests with your campaign. It is past time to ‘put up’ or move on,” Mr Mitchell tweeted on Friday afternoon, quoting the president’s tweet.

Mr Mitchell is one of just a handful of Republicans who have actively confronted Mr Trump over his comments throwing the validity of the US elections into question despite providing scant evidence to support his claims.

While GOP leaders have reportedly acknowledged Mr Trump’s legal challenges to the election results lack merit, they have taken the course of letting him pursue his cases without public opposition.

GOP Senators Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Mitt Romney of Utah have also expressed their displeasure at the outgoing president’s rhetoric, which polling shows has divided the US public mostly on party lines on its faith in the integrity of the election results.

Mr Mitchell, who was first elected to Congress in 2016, the same year Mr Trump was elected president, told CNN last week that “the people have spoken and we have President-Elect Biden and we need to accept that.”

The retiring Michigan congressman stressed the need for a smooth transition between administrations to successfully roll out vaccines for the coronavirus and continue dealing with an uptick in cases as the winter months set in.

“I just think the transition is needed because we have some real challenges facing the nation and we need to not let time go by and have a haphazard transition because that's not in the best interest of the people of this country,” Mr Mitchell said last week on CNN.

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