President Donald Trump lauded Tommy Tuberville this week after the Republican Alabama senator-elect said he is not ruling out joining a House member to object to the election results when Congress meets in a joint session to accept the votes of the Electoral College.
Trump is continuing to push senators to overturn the election while Tuberville’s efforts would put his party in an awkward spot to vote on whether to accept the will of the voters or side with him.
Trump’s effort highlights the conflict facing congressional Republicans following the GOP President’s election loss last month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who for the first time this week recognized Joe Biden as President-elect, has privately urged his Republican colleagues not to join House conservatives in their planned objection next month.
Tuberville, while stumping in Georgia for the Senate runoff elections which will determine control of the chamber, said in a video that resurfaced this week that senators should also object on January 6 when Congress ratifies the election results.
The video that resurfaced showed Tuberville saying, “You’ll see what’s coming. You’ve been reading about it in the House. We’re going to have to do it in the Senate.”
A person familiar told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that Tuberville knew what he was doing and is willing to lean out there as if he’s considering doing this.
Trump has retweeted at least four tweets supportive of Tuberville so far. He also called Tuberville a man of courage and added, “More Republican Senators should follow his lead” before repeating false claims about the election.
CNN’s Manu Raju asked the No. 2 Republican Sen. John Thune his advice for Tuberville amid the news. “I would hope he wouldn’t do that,” Thune replied. “I think it’s time, like I said before, to move on.”
Privately, McConnell urged GOP senators on a Tuesday call not to join a House effort to object to the results on January 6 since doing so would ultimately force senators to cast a vote on the merits of the objection. GOP leaders fear they would be forced to choose between Trump and the will of the voters – and are eager not to be put in that position.
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama is the conservative member leading the effort to overturn the election results in the House.
“I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do and that’s fight for what I believe is that we need an improvement in our election system whether other people join or not is up to them,” Brooks told CNN this week. “The No. 1 goal is to reject electoral college votes submissions of those states who have such badly systemically flawed election systems, that they will fix them and never perpetuate or enhance the ability of election thieves to engage in voter fraud and election theft in the future.”
CNN’s Manu Raju and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.