Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, whose state is a key battleground in the presidential election, said Friday he had seen no evidence to support Trump's claim Thursday evening of fraud in balloting.
Live 2020 election results in battleground states still up for grabs: Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina
"The president's speech last night was very disturbing to me because he made very, very serious allegations without any evidence to support it," Toomey told "CBS This Morning."
He added: "I voted for President Trump. I endorsed President Trump. I want the next president to be the person who legitimately wins the Electoral College and I will accept whoever that is."
Trump, who has complained for weeks about mail-in ballots, escalated his allegations late Thursday, saying at the White House that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt. Trump did not back up his claims with any details or evidence, and state and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.
Twitter flagged his tweet as possibly misleading.
I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST. The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. U.S. Supreme Court should decide!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2020
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, tweeted that the president's claims of fraud are "getting insane." If Trump has "legit" concerns about fraud, they need to be based on evidence and taken to court, Kinzinger said, adding, "STOP Spreading debunked misinformation."
We want every vote counted, yes every legal vote (of course). But, if you have legit concerns about fraud present EVIDENCE and take it to court. STOP Spreading debunked misinformation... This is getting insane.— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) November 6, 2020
Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a potential 2024 presidential hopeful who has often criticized Trump, said unequivocally: "There is no defense for the President's comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before."
There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. 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. https://t.co/BOO2iaTsEf— Larry Hogan (@LarryHogan) November 6, 2020
"No election or person is more important than our Democracy," Hogan said on Twitter.
Other criticism, though less direct, came from members of Congress. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who spoke at a recent Trump campaign rally, said in a tweet that if any candidate believes "a state is violating election laws they have a right to challenge it in court & produce evidence in support of their claims.
Rubio said earlier: "Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud. And court challenges to votes cast after the legal voting deadline is NOT suppression."
If a candidate believes a state is violating election laws they have a right to challenge it in court & produce evidence in support of their claims. https://t.co/knsFLLBPke— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 6, 2020
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah., the party's presidential nominee in 2012, sought to provide a reassuring note. Counting votes is often "long" and "frustrating," Romney said.
If any irregularities are alleged, "they will be investigated and ultimately resolved in the courts, Romney tweeted. "Have faith in democracy, our Constitution and the American people."
The comments by the Republican lawmakers and other GOP leaders were rare, public rebukes of Trump, who has demanded - and generally received - loyalty from fellow Republicans throughout his four-year term. Most in the GOP take pains to avoid directly criticizing Trump, even when they find his conduct unhelpful or offensive to their values and goals.
Trump's tweets earlier Thursday declaring victory and calling for officials to "STOP THE COUNT" were a test of how strongly he can keep Republicans in line as he tries to challenge the voting process in court.
Before Trump's speech in the White House briefing room, several Republicans challenged his attempts to halt vote-counting in Pennsylvania and other battleground states.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Trump ally who won reelection Tuesday in Kentucky, told reporters that "claiming you've won the election is different from finishing the counting." His office declined to comment after Trump's address Thursday.
But McConnell tweeted this Friday morning:
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. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes.— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) November 6, 2020
That's how Americans' votes decide the result.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, urged "everyone to be patient as results come in. "It is critical that we give election officials time to complete their jobs, and that we ensure all lawfully cast ballots are allowed and counted, she said in a statement.
Rep. Will Hurd, a Texas Republican who did not seek reelection, called Trump's comments about corruption "dangerous" and "wrong. Trump's remarks undermine the U.S. political process and "the very foundation this nation was built upon," Hurd said.
A sitting president undermining our political process & questioning the legality of the voices of countless Americans without evidence is not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon. Every American should have his or her vote counted.— Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) November 6, 2020
While Biden was close Friday to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, it was unclear when a national winner would be determined after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on Americans and the national economy.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut told The Associated Press Thursday he hopes Republicans step up their response to Trump's unsubstantiated claims. While Republicans may want to give Trump time to "make his arguments," when it becomes clear that claims are without basis, "My hope is that Republicans will put public and private pressure on him," Murphy said.
But one of Trump's top congressional supporters said he supports efforts to question the vote counting process and is donating money to shore up legal challenges. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Fox News Thursday night he would donate $500,000 to the president's "legal defense fund" and urged people to go to the Trump campaign's website to pitch in.
In remarks Wednesday at the White House, Trump baselessly claimed victory and alleged "major fraud on our nation" as state election officials continued counting ballots amid a huge increase in voter turnout.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump ally who is an analyst for ABC News, said there was no basis for Trump's argument. Christie called Trump's attack on the integrity of the election "a bad strategic decision" and "a bad political decision, and it's not the kind of decision you would expect someone to make ... who holds the position he holds."
Trump's family, never shy about expressing their support, took to Twitter to question why GOP lawmakers were not rushing to the president's defense. "Where are Republicans! Have some backbone. Fight against this fraud. Our voters will never forget you if your sheep!" Trump's son Eric tweeted.
Some GOP governors responded. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the president to "Fight on, exhaust all options." South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted that Trump was fighting "rigged election systems."
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said states administer U.S. elections, not the federal government. "We should respect that process and ensure that all ballots cast in accordance with state laws are counted. It's that simple," Portman said in a statement.
More reaction from former and current Republican leaders is below:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX):
Texas swiftly processed more than 11 million votes & quickly announced winners across 2 time zones.⁰— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 6, 2020
To ensure transparency we allow poll watchers from each party to participate in the voting & tally processes.
What is happening in some states undermines trust in elections.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA):
I continue to hope for President Trump’s victory. I respect all parties’ right to pursue their claims to ensure a transparent and fair election. It is important that every legal vote be counted. It is especially important that the process be respected. I have faith in the process— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) November 6, 2020
Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI):
Every legal vote should and will be counted - as they always are. Where there are issues there are ways to address them. If anyone has proof of wrongdoing, it should be presented and resolved. Anything less harms the integrity of our elections and is dangerous for our democracy.— Rep. Paul Mitchell (@RepPaulMitchell) November 6, 2020
Sen-elect Bill Hagerty (R-TN):
We must protect the sanctity of the ballot box. That means every LEGAL vote must be counted. We can't allow bad actors to harm our election system. Support President @realDonaldTrump's defense team here: https://t.co/14l3UBgBTR— Bill Hagerty (@BillHagertyTN) November 6, 2020
Congressman Denver Riggleman (R-VA):
Like @RepKinzinger I took an oath to defend this country and fight for the democratic ideals it stands for. Count every vote, yes, but stop the Bravo Sierra, Mr. President, and respect the democratic process that makes America great. https://t.co/r3nOyuCToj— Congressman Denver Riggleman (@RepRiggleman) November 6, 2020
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT):
We are a nation of laws, and the integrity of our elections is critical. Every LEGALLY cast ballot should be counted - with full transparency.— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) November 5, 2020
Former governor of Pennsylvania and first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge:
With his remarks from the White House tonight, the President disrespected every single American who figured out a way to safely vote amid a pandemic that has taken 235,000 lives. Not to mention those who are dutifully counting that vote. Absolutely shameful. Yet so predictable.— Gov. Tom Ridge (@GovRidge) November 6, 2020
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE):
I’m proud of Nebraska for administering a free and fair election and counting all ballots in accordance with state law. All other states must do the same under the rules set out by their state legislatures. This is what our Constitution requires and what the voters deserve.— Senator Deb Fischer (@SenatorFischer) November 5, 2020
Former Arizona senator Jeff Flake:
Fellow Republicans, don't wait until the election is called to defend our elections and our democratic institutions. The time is now.— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 6, 2020
No Republican should be okay with the President's statements just now. Unacceptable. Period.— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 6, 2020
The Associated Press contributed to this report.