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Inhofe, Lankford Not Yet Among Senate Republicans Acknowledging Reality Of Biden Win

Office of Sen. Jim Inhofe
Sen. Jim Inhofe (left) and his wife, Kay Inhofe, at a swearing-in ceremony for the 114th Congress on Jan. 6, 2015, presided over by then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Despite the Electoral College's formal vote confirming President-elect Joe Biden's victory over incumbent President Donald Trump in the November election, Oklahoma's two U.S. Senators are not among the growing ranks of Senate Republicans acknowledging that reality.

On Tuesday, Inhofe told KOTV he would still refrain from referring to President-elect Biden as such.

“I would say anything can happen between now and the 6th of January, and anyone who says he’s officially the President-elect before that? It’s not accurate,” Inhofe said, referring to the date Congress is scheduled to vote on whether or not to approve the Electoral College results. 

Meanwhile, Junior Senator James Lankford is also not yet referring to Biden as the president-elect, though on a Wednesday Facebook Live town hall he acknowledged the chances of overturning the results of the election are growing ever slimmer.

"It is a very difficult road; in fact, a friend of mine said to me earlier this week after the election was certified by the Electoral College, 'It's going to take a miracle at this point,'" Lankford said.

In a statement provided by a spokesperson Thursday morning, Lankford said: "President Trump has authorized all the agencies of the Executive Branch to cooperate with Joe Biden and his team as they prepare for a presidential transition, while the President continues to pursue any and all questions from the election. Since the states have certified their elections and the Electoral College has met and voted, all challenges to the election outcome by the President are now much more difficult. I have strongly supported—and will continue to support—President Trump’s right and responsibility to verify the November election results."

Inhofe's office did not immediately return a request for comment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) finally acknowledged Biden's win on the floor of the Senate Tuesday, congratulating the president-elect and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). 

Inhofe and Lankford now lag behind such disparate figures as McConnell, former Republican President George W. Bush, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in congratulating Biden on his victory.

Trump and his campaign have provided no evidence or proof to support their unfounded claims that the election he lost was "rigged" or "stolen." 

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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