Donald Trump Jr. pressured potential 2024 GOP contenders to vocally support President Trump as the president continues to air often unfounded grievances about alleged voter fraud and accusations that Democrats “can try to steal the election from us” — and his push apparently quickly yielded results in the form of tweets from a handful of those Republican politicians.
“The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls’ is pretty amazing,” Trump Jr. said. “They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead. Don’t worry @realDonaldTrump will fight & they can watch as usual!”
Less than 90 minutes later, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., directed his followers to support the legal fund the Republican party has put together for post-election challenges, as well as donate to Georgia Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are potentially facing runoffs.
“We are not done. EVERY Republican needs to: 1-Support Trump’s legal fund,” Cotton said. “2-Support Sen. Loeffler vs. a radical who hates the police… 3-Support Sen. Perdue vs. a trust-fund socialist.”
Cotton added: “Our country depends on it.”
Just minutes before Cotton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley credited Trump for GOP down-ballot victories and flicked at the Trump campaign’s legal challenges, which have been shut down in Michigan and Georgia but achieved limited success in Pennsylvania and are still pending in Nevada.
“We all owe @realDonaldTrump for his leadership of conservative victories for Senate, House, & state legislatures,” Haley said. “He and the American people deserve transparency & fairness as the votes are counted. The law must be followed. We have to keep the faith that the truth will prevail.”
There were notable exceptions to the grievance that potential 2024 GOP contenders hadn’t been sufficiently supporting the president, Trump Jr. said. Those were Sens. Josh Hawley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“If last 24 hrs have made anything clear, it’s that we need new election integrity laws NOW,” Hawley said in a tweet. “Ban ballot harvesting, guarantee poll watcher access, make ballot counting transparent. I will introduce”
“Thanks @HawleyMO good to see this was before my tweet,” Trump Jr. replied.
Not all possible 2024 Republican candidates were supportive of the president, or remained silent on his comments and actions.
“There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who wrote in his recent book that some members of Trump’s cabinet asked him to primary Trump this year. “America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy.”
And others on the right, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who ran for president in 2016 and helped the president prepare for his first debate against Biden, panned Trump’s post-election behavior.
“If this stuff is going on that that president is talking about, all of us want it ferreted out because it would undercut everything that we believe in in our system,” Christie said. “If you’re going to say those things from behind the podium at the White House … show us the evidence. We heard nothing today about any evidence.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meanwhile, took a more measured tone, as he has often when Trump makes harsh and disputed comments.
“Here’s how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process,” McConnell said in a tweet. “And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes. That’s how Americans’ votes decide the result.”
Added Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: “States have the authority to determine the specific rules of elections. Every valid vote under a state’s law should be counted. Allegations of irregularities can be adjudicated by the courts. We must all respect the outcome of elections.”
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Jason Donner contributed to this report.