U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is not ready to call on President Donald Trump to concede the election.
Paul, R-Ky., said there’s still enough concern about fraud that election officials in disputed states should finish their recounts and even investigate random ballots.
He advised election officials to “look at these ballots and say — call the person. ‘Did you vote in the election? Who did you vote for?’
“I mean, we should check the ballots to see that they’re valid,” he added.
A broad coalition of top government and industry officials on Nov. 12 said that the Nov. 3 voting and the following count unfolded smoothly with no more than the usual minor hiccup. It was, they declared, “the most secure in American history.”
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised,” the coalition said in a statement.
Across the nation, recounts and court challenges must wrap up and election results must be certified by Dec. 8, the constitutional deadline ahead of the Electoral College meeting the following week.
Lawsuits have been filed by Trump allies in Michigan and Nevada seeking to stop certification. Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani argued to stop vote certification in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. And the same day, the Arizona Republican Party asked a judge to bar Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, from certifying until the court issues a decision about the party’s lawsuit seeking a new hand count of a sampling of ballots.
In the meantime, Paul said President-elect Joe Biden should begin receiving security briefings. The senator, who said he’s more than willing to respect and work with a president of either party, believes it would increase accountability if more people in Congress received the briefings instead of just a handful.
Paul also applauded Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, adding that those troops should have been removed a long time ago. He said the 19-year operation has gone from fighting a war to an expensive nation-building effort.
However, Paul said Trump’s decision doesn’t go far enough, and the senator criticized the president for choosing to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan after the withdrawal.
“I wouldn’t leave 2,500,” Paul said. “I’d get everybody out except for the Marine detachment guarding the embassy. And then we make a decision on whether or not that’s adequate. But the war needs to end, and all those people saying it should go on and on — they are in the minority.”
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., also told WDRB News he also wants the troops to come home, but he said the president needs to listen to the commanders on the ground to make sure they’re not removed too quickly.