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Manchin: Trump to blame for Ga. losses

WASHINGTON — Republican losses in Tuesday’s runoff elections for U.S. Senate in Georgia where the Democrats may pick up both seats fall on President Donald Trump, a senator from West Virginia said on Wednesday.

He’s the leader of the Republican Party and the “Trump Train,” U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said.

“I think Donald Trump, he owns this one,” Manchin said.

Manchin spoke with the press Wednesday prior to the storming of the Capitol by Trump protesters. The House and Senate were in session to accept the Electoral College results where President-elect Joe Biden has 306 electors to Trump’s 232. Manchin said he would oppose the objections of electors from key states, a cause led by a minority of Republican senators and representatives in line with Trump.

In Georgia, national media outlets projected incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler had lost to Democrat Raphael Warnock while Democrat Jon Ossoff was the projected winner by NBC News over Republican incumbent David Perdue. The Republicans lose control of the Senate with a 50-50 split, as the vice president as president of the Senate is a Democrat.

With control of the Senate by the Democrats, lawmakers for the sake of the country must work together and avoid rhetoric that divides, Manchin said.

“There’s no other pathway except cooperation,” he said.

Misinformation by Trump, such his statements that the November presidential election was fraught with fraud in Georgia and other key states, has “come back to roost” and impacted the runoffs in Georgia, Manchin said. However, the outcome of the Georgia elections could break Trump’s hold on Republicans.

“It will set them free,” Manchin said.

Efforts by the president, senators and representatives to block the Electoral College results won’t pass, Manchin said.

The 19th century Electoral Count Act removes partisan politics in Congress from the process and makes states responsible for what votes are legal, not the vice president or a congressional commission, Manchin said. The House and Senate count the votes, not choose the electors, he said.

“And they are all playing for the 2022 and 2024 elections, for the base Donald Trump has, the very loyal base,” Manchin said.

Trump is playing upon the fears of his supporters and taking their hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to influence politics, Manchin said. The president knows it’s over, Manchin said.

“Trust me, he’s not delusional at all. He knows exactly,” Manchin said. “But with that, it’s a tremendous fundraising tool.”

But the damage is being done to America’s reputation, Manchin said.

“We’re supposed to be the hope of the world,” he said. “We were the beacon of democracy.”

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