In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said that many of his colleagues are waiting for President Donald Trump to "come to terms" with the fact that he lost the 2020 presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has not yet conceded the race, alleging widespread electoral fraud and instructing his legal team to file lawsuits in key battleground states. GOP lawmakers have expressed support for the commander-in-chief, refusing to embrace Biden as president-elect.
This has delayed the beginning of the transition process, which could jeopardize U.S. national security and make it more difficult for the incoming administration to deal with issues such as the coronavirus pandemic. According to Kinzinger, however, Republicans are waiting for Trump to accept reality before they recognize Biden as the winner.
"I think it's just a matter of a lot of people waiting out until, you know, the president comes to terms with this."Kinzinger suggested that Trump has a right to file lawsuits and contest the results, but noted that accepting defeat and moving on is part of the American tradition.
"But we have a tradition in this country of looking at the results, congratulating the president-elect, starting the transition process and going forward," Kinzinger said.
The congressman pointed out that Trump remains exceptionally popular among conservative voters, saying that GOP lawmakers fear retribution from his supporters and scrutiny by "Twitter mobs."
Kinzinger also weighed in on the decision to fire the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Christopher Krebs, who drew Trump's ire after repeatedly pushing back against his allegations of electoral fraud.
Kinzinger said that Kreb's "job is to make sure that they are defending the elections and, of course, that is counter to what the president is trying to say, so I think that all feeds into why he's out there."
Trump's lawyers have reportedly filed as much as 40 lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan and other key states, but dozens of them have already been dismissed. Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have nevertheless solicited donations to finance the legal challenges and cover other expenses.
Last week, as The Guardian reported, Biden described Trump's unwillingness to concede as an "embarrassment" for the United States. The Democrat noted that his team has not even received intelligence briefings from the outgoing administration, but stressed that Trump's refusal to cooperate will not in any way impede the transition process.