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More Republicans call on Trump to begin transition process

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2015.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2015. On Sunday, he called Trump's legal team "a national embarrassment." Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Burton

More Republicans on Sunday called on the Trump administration to begin the transition process after Joe Biden’s win, citing that President Donald Trump’s team has not produced any evidence of widespread voter fraud that he has falsely claimed stole the election from him.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a vocal Trump ally, said Trump should accept the results of the election, calling Trump's legal team a "national embarrassment." Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said it is "past the time to start a transition." Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said the country needs a "peaceful transition of power" as "nobody's come up with any evidence of fraud or abuse."

"As much as I’m a strong Republican and I love my party, it’s the country that has to come first," Christie said on ABC's "This Week."

Their calls come after judges have repeatedly ruled against Trump’s election lawsuits and rejected claims of vote fraud, including most recently in Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

That ruling prompted Republican Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to congratulate Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Saturday, saying, "President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania."

The Trump campaign filed notice Sunday it would appeal the decision.

A coalition of top government and industry officials earlier this month called the 2020 election "the most secure in American history" and said there was no evidence that the system had been compromised.

Christie said Trump's legal team of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell have displayed "outrageous behavior," claiming voter fraud occurred without presenting any proof, which "must mean the evidence doesn’t exist."

Biden, who is planning to announce cabinet nominees Tuesday, does not plan to seek legal action because Trump's efforts to overturn results have repeatedly failed, aides said Sunday.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain on "This Week" called Trump's refusal to concede "corrosive" and "harmful" but "it’s not going to change the outcome."

But the General Services Administration's refusal to acknowledge the election results is causing issues for the Biden team, aides said. They cannot get FBI background checks on cabinet nominees without the acknowledgment, transition adviser Jennifer Psaki said on CNN. Biden said this week that the delay meant his team couldn't get briefed on COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans, which could lead to more deaths.

Cramer said Sunday that GSA should allow the transition process to begin on Monday morning, noting "we’ve yet to see a real [court] hearing where evidence was presented." But he said Trump has a right to exhaust his legal challenges.

"I frankly do think it's past time to start a transition, to at least cooperate with the transition. I'd rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare, should Joe Biden end up winning this," Cramer told NBC’s "Meet The Press." "But in the meantime, again, he's just exercising his legal options."

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who has previously criticized Trump's refusal to concede, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that "we're beginning to look like we're a banana republic ... It just gets more bizarre everyday, and frankly I'm embarrassed" of the Republican Party for not speaking out.

After Hogan's appearance, Trump tweeted out a Breitbart story criticizing Hogan's response to the coronavirus, calling him a Republican in name only "who will never make the grade."

With AP

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