The top Republican in the US Congress said Monday that President Donald Trump was fully entitled to challenge election results in multiple states, insisting that such scrutiny would not undermine democracy.
"President Trump is 100-percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the first congressional day of a lame duck presidency, with Trump refusing so far to concede to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump insists the race is not over and Republican lawmakers have urged the president not to concede, even as US networks projected Saturday that Biden won the election with at least 279 electoral votes, surpassing the 270 needed for victory.
The White House has launched legal challenges in several states including pivotal Pennsylvania, where near-complete results show Biden ahead by 44,930 votes or 0.67 percent.
"If the Democrats feel confident (major irregularities) have not occurred, they should have no reason to fear any extra scrutiny," McConnell said.
"Suffice it to say, a few legal inquiries from the president do not exactly spell the end of the republic."
No credible evidence of widespread fraud or voter irregularities has emerged, according to election authorities in several states and from both political parties.
Trump has nonetheless repeatedly claimed that massive fraud has occurred, proclaiming Saturday on Twitter: "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!"
The 2020 races hinged on swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina.
Trump and his allies, in an effort to delegitimize the US media's Biden victory call, have declared that thousands of "illegal" ballots were changing the results in these razor-thin races.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, urged the president Monday to "keep fighting" but he also hinted the effort might be in vain.
"I would encourage President Trump -- if after all this he does fall short, we just can't quite get there -- to not let this movement die, to consider running again" in 2024 and create platforms that will help "keep his movement alive," Graham told Fox News Radio.
Most Senate Republicans, including several who served for years with Biden, have not acknowledged their former colleague's victory.
Senator Susan Collins became the third Senate Republican to congratulate Biden, saying he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris "should be given every opportunity to ensure that they are ready to govern on January 20th."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)