(CNN) – Republican Party leaders nervously watch President Donald Trump’s erratic handling of an election that is getting out of hand. And they gently urge the president and his team to present clear arguments about electoral irregularities that denounce or accept the will of the American people.
As they watch Trump make one baseless claim after another, Republicans are concerned about the lasting ramifications of the president’s barrage of baseless attacks on a cornerstone of American democracy. Especially when they prepare for two months of intense battles for two hugely important matches in Georgia that will determine the next Senate majority.
But Republican leaders are also wary of an unstable president who has enormous influence behind his party. Many are unwilling to directly challenge your dubious claims and instead urge you to present your arguments in more detail.
Sources in the Republican Party said Friday the idea is to give Trump and his team a chance to present their arguments and allow disputes to settle on their own in court. They argue that if the causes fail, Trump will have no choice but to grant elections without them having to face it.
“It is up to the Trump administration to present specific arguments about electoral irregularity,” said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who also defended Trump’s baseless claims about possible fraud. “They are looking into election practices now,” anticipating more details in the next 48 hours.
The different reactions of Republicans to the fraud allegations
Republican leaders approach him cautiously. Some, such as domestic minority leader Kevin McCarthy, publicly defend their claims. Others, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, try to find a middle ground.
McConnell, a cautious but steadfast leader, carefully crafted a public message about Trump’s allegations that respects the concerns of the president and his ardent supporters, but does not approve of his nebulous allegations of voter fraud. McConnell refused to say anything other than his delicately worded statement Friday.
Republicans say it is now up to the president to provide the public with details on allegations of election fraud widespread in several key states that have left former Vice President Joe Biden on the verge of presidency.
“I think the president should leave this discussion to his lawyers,” said Senate Rules President Roy Blunt. Its commission is charged with overseeing the elections. And if they have arguments to present, there is a process in which they do this and that process is timely.