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Trump slams Sen. Cotton for saying he won’t object to electoral vote certification

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A day after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said that he would not object to the upcoming certification of the states’ electoral college votes, President Donald Trump on Monday set his sights on the potential 2024 presidential candidate for refusing to join 11 current and incoming senators in challenging President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 election win.

“How can you certify an election when the numbers being certified are verifiably WRONG,” the president tweeted Monday morning. “You will see the real numbers tonight during my speech, but especially on JANUARY 6th. @SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1346110956078817280

On Sunday night, Cotton said he would not join the nearly a dozen current and incoming senators led by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in challenging the electoral votes from certain swing states on Wednesday in a joint session of Congress, stating that such an effort could “establish unwise precedents.”

RELATED: Walmart blames tweet calling Sen. Hawley ‘#soreloser’ on employee’s mistake

Also argued in his statement published Sunday evening is that challenging the electoral votes would go against the founding fathers’ intentions.

“The Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states — not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College — not Congress. And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts — not Congress,” Cotton’s statement reads.

“Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the state,” he said.

Additionally, the 2024 hopeful warned that if Congress tossed out the votes of swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where Trump and his allies claim widespread election fraud occurred, it would “take away the power to choose the president from the people.” 

On top of that, he argued that such an effort would throw the Electoral College and the megaphone it gives to tinier states like his home state of Arkansas into jeopardy and help Democrats “achieve their longstanding goal of eliminating the Electoral College.”

Furthermore, he said if Congress overturns the Electoral College’s vote, it would “take another big step toward federalizing election law.”

Other current GOP senators who have pledged to object to certification include Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), and Mike Braun (Ind.). Senators-elect who have promised to also object are Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).

Cotton is far from the only Republican refusing to object to certification. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other GOP leaders have already congratulated Biden on his victory and have been urging their colleagues to not object to Wednesday’s certification.

On Sunday in a Twitter thread, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another typically reliable Trump ally, also cast doubt on the objection effort, calling it a “political dodge.”

Overwhelmingly, experts have stated that the effort to object to electoral vote certification is a longshot and will most certainly fail.

According to a Sunday explainer piece from The Wall Street Journal, it takes one House representative and one senator to issue an objection to a state’s electoral votes. For each objection to a given state’s electoral votes, lawmakers from each chamber break for two hours at most to debate the objection. When debate ends, a simple majority vote is held on the objection, and both the House and Senate must agree for the objection to be successful.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”

Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.

RELATED: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”

“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”

This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”

RELATED: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.

“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”

“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”

Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.

RELATED: ‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.

“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.

“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”

He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.

Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”

“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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