McConnell defends Trump's refusal to concede

"President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options," McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Trump has not conceded and is pursuing legal challenges to the outcome, claiming electoral fraud but offering no evidence. Elections officials in states across the country say there has been no evidence of significant fraud.

In his speech, McConnell did not acknowledge Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect or Kamala Harris as vice president-elect.

Video Transcript

MITCH MCCONNELL: And then there is the presidential race. Obviously, no states have yet certified their election results. We have at least one or two states that are already on track for a recount. And I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states.

The core principle here is not complicated. In the United States of America, all legal ballots must be counted. Any illegal ballots must not be counted. The process should be transparent or observable by all sides. And the courts are here to work through concerns.

Our institutions are actually built for this. We have the system in place to consider concerns, and President Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options. If any major irregularities occurred this time of a magnitude that would affect the outcome, then every single American should want them to be brought to light.

And if Democrats feel confident they have not occurred, they should have no reason to fear any extra scrutiny. We have the tools and institutions we need to address any concerns. Let's not have any lectures, no lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.