Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) posted a photo to his official Twitter account welcoming the group of incoming Republican senators. He's now been criticized for including Florida Governor Rick Scott in the group: Scott's race against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson is currently being recounted and has not been called.
A warm welcome to the incoming class of Republican Senators. https://t.co/yNcqWvX0qp— Leader McConnell (@Leader McConnell) 1542209687.0
People did not take too kindly to McConnell's gaffe.
This is obscene. This is not done. You don't declare someone a senator when ballots are still being counted and a r… https://t.co/WPnY9XD4ed— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson) 1542254646.0
Mitch McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat & is now welcoming Rick Scott as new senator before all the votes have b… https://t.co/iO1CjRI1YY— Ari Berman (@Ari Berman) 1542212117.0
@senatemajldr Future history books: ‘pictured here is a group of newly elected senators taken on November 14, 2018.… https://t.co/vhAyZTXwi7— Jeff Brody (@Jeff Brody) 1542262737.0
@senatemajldr Oh look, @ScottforFlorida declared himself the winner before all the votes have been counted, and ju… https://t.co/b4MUbci8z2— Kelly 🇺🇸 🇵🇷 (@Kelly 🇺🇸 🇵🇷) 1542252598.0
Scott has recused himself from certifying the results of his Senate race, one of the most closely watched ones around the nation. As of 9:40 a.m., Scott has 4,098,046 votes, or 50.1 percent of the vote. Nelson has 4,085,532 votes, or 49.9 percent of the vote. Scott's lead is narrow and race has not been called.
Scott spurred controversy this week after he and President Donald Trump claimed that Democrats are trying to "steal" the election. Both men have made unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.
Speaking on Fox News on Monday, Scott claimed he "won the election" and added that "no recount has ever overturned a lead like that."
The League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause filed a lawsuit on Monday requesting that Scott remove himself from any official role in the electoral process. Scott's campaign dismissed the lawsuit, noting that he also recused himself from certifying his 2014 re-election as governor.
The controversy surrounding the photo McConnell posted to social media comes just a day after he, in a Fox News op-ed, issued a call for bipartisanship.
“Last Tuesday I was proud to see that the American people voted keep Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate. But we also learned that, come January, the Republican Senate majority will be dealing with a House of Representatives under Democratic control," McConnell wrote before touting his bipartisan achievements in the Senate. He claimed that “the past two years of unified Republican government will be remembered as a period of historic productivity.
McConnell has been accused of hypocrisy: He infamously refused to hold hearings for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nomination for the high court. At the time, McConnell claimed that the Senate should not confirm Supreme Court nominees during an election year, though he could cite no rules to support this assertion, and accusations that his decision was informed, at least in part, by racial animus toward Obama have dogged him ever since.
“One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, 'Mr. President, you will not fill… https://t.co/YKpkfL5pfn— Sage Rosenfels (@Sage Rosenfels) 1542248498.0
Yesterday, McConnell was once again accused of obstructionism after he blocked Republican Senator Jeff Flake (AZ) and Democrat Chris Coons (DE) from bringing up legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Mitch McConnell just objected to an attempt for the Senate to bring the bipartisan bill to protect Mueller to the S… https://t.co/Ml20DVYLlR— Kirsten Gillibrand (@Kirsten Gillibrand) 1542248431.0
In the face of these kinds of threats and lies by Trump, how does Mitch McConnell's refusal to allow a vote on the… https://t.co/BPPiXWC7of— Norm Eisen (@Norm Eisen) 1542290774.0
Mitch McConnell is blocking legislation to protect Mueller because he says there is no reason to think Trump will t… https://t.co/u9dUOWKQmU— Paul McLeod (@Paul McLeod) 1542288515.0
McConnell claimed that the legislation is unnecessary, saying he hasn't heard the president or others within his administration threaten the probe. He made that statement despite the president's long record of publicly attacking the investigation, often via Twitter.