Trump Says He Spoke With Sen.-Elect Tuberville, Hinted at Backing Electoral College Challenge

(The Washington Post) -
Republican Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville delivers his victory speech to supporters at a watch party in Montgomery, Ala., on Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)/File

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he has spoken with Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville, the Alabama Republican who suggested last week that he supports a potential challenge to the electoral vote count when the House and Senate convene next month to formally affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump said in an interview with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on New York’s WABC radio station that he spoke with Tuberville Saturday night.

Tuberville’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The conversation is the latest signal that Trump is exerting pressure on Republicans to overturn the results of November’s presidential election.

Biden last week achieved formal victory over Trump, winning his 306 votes in the electoral college and advancing one more step toward inauguration. But the president and his supporters are redoubling their efforts to block the normal transfer of power, including a potential challenge on Jan. 6, when both chambers of Congress conduct the final tally of electoral votes.

More than half the House Republican conference also signed on in support of a lawsuit by the Texas attorney general seeking to overturn Biden’s victories in four swing states. That lawsuit was dismissed by the Supreme Court earlier this month.

Some incoming Republican members of the House, including Reps.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Barry Moore of Alabama, have suggested they will join Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., in using an 1880s law that allows members of Congress to dispute a state’s results and make the House and Senate vote on the challenge to the electoral vote tally.

The effort is certain to fail in the Democratic-led House and will meet resistance in the Senate, where several Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have dismissed the idea.

Last week, while campaigning for Sens. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., in Georgia, Tuberville suggested he would support an electoral vote challenge.

“You see what’s coming. You’ve been reading about it in the House. We’re going to have to do it in the Senate,” Tuberville said, according to a video posted online by liberal activist Lauren Windsor.

Tuberville did not say whether he would bring such a challenge himself.

His comment came days after McConnell publicly congratulated Biden on his win, said the electoral college “has spoken” and privately urged Republican senators not to challenge the tally.