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Paul D. Ryan, the former Republican speaker of the House, said Tuesday that Trump needs to “embrace the transfer of power” and concede to Biden, while condemning the president’s attempts to cast doubt on the Nov. 3 election.
“I know firsthand what it’s like to lose a national election, and it is a terrible feeling,” Ryan said, appearing as a guest at Bank of America’s virtual European Credit Conference on Tuesday. “But I think it’s really important that we’re clear about this. … The election is over. The outcome is certain, and I really think the orderly transfer of power is one of the most uniquely fundamental American components of our political system. And I think it’s really important that we respect the will of the people and if we don’t, we will end up doing damage to our country, to our democratic institutions, to norms and to the cause of freedom.”
The comments were first reported by Politico. A Ryan aide provided a transcript of the remarks to The Washington Post.
Ryan spent much of his three-year stint as speaker at public odds with Trump, condemning his offensive remarks on several occasions as a presidential candidate and later as president. But the two forged an uneasy alliance to try to push through Trump’s legislative agenda, culminating in a sweeping 2017 tax overhaul.
In his remarks Tuesday, Ryan went on to argue that it is “in Joe Biden's best interest” for Republicans to win the pair of Jan. 5 special elections in Georgia and thus retain control of the Senate.
“Then he really does have divided government, and he really does have to work with both sides of the aisle, and you won’t have the building pressure from the left to try and jam the other side,” he said. “Those of us who’ve worked with Joe, we disagree with each other but he’s not a disagreeable human being. So, he does know how to work in divided government. He does put deals together and that will be made much, much easier for him to operate like that and bring sides together if we truly have divided government."
Pennsylvania and Nevada, two key battleground states, certified President-elect Joe Biden’s wins Tuesday, even as President Trump continued to fight results in court and insisted that he will “never concede.”
Meanwhile, Biden introduced several foreign policy and national security picks at an event in Wilmington, Del., calling them a team that will “make us proud to be Americans.” Trump made a brief appearance at the White House to tout that the Dow Jones industrial average reached 30,000 points for the first time in history. He took no questions.
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