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Small but growing number of Republicans tell Trump it's over: "Stop golfing and concede"

When will official Biden transition begin?
When will official Biden transition begin? 05:20

A small, but growing, number of Republicans have a message for President Trump: The election is over and he lost. Now it's time to move on.

On Monday, the General Services Administration — the federal agency that allows the transition process to begin — sent a letter to the transition team for President-elect Joe Biden saying they could begin the transition. Mr. Trump tweeted around the same time that he had instructed the agency to "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same."

Ahead of the GSA announcement, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee tweeted a statement saying "the presidential election is rapidly coming to a formal end."

"Since it seems apparent that Joe Biden will be the president-elect, my hope is that President Trump will take pride in his accomplishments, put the country first and have a prompt and orderly transition to help the new administration succeed. When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do."

More Republicans acknowledge Biden's victory 03:16

The message became louder over the weekend, after a far-fetched press conference by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis on unfounded mass election fraud, which Trump ally and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie called a "national embarrassment."

"I have been a supporter of the president's. I voted for him twice," Christie said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "But elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn't happen."

On Saturday, the Trump campaign suffered a big loss as a federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit trying to invalidate millions of votes in that state as full of "strained legal arguments" that were "unsupported by evidence."

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a popular Republican in a fiercely Democratic state, told the president Sunday to "stop golfing and concede," after Mr. Trump called him a "RINO," or Republican in name only. Hogan and his wife secured critical testing equipment on their own when the federal government failed to come through. Hogan recognized Mr. Biden's victory on November 7, the day major networks including CBS News called the race for the president-elect.

"If you had done your job, America's governors wouldn't have been forced to fend for themselves to find tests in the middle of a pandemic, as we successfully did in Maryland," Hogan quote-tweeted the president. "Stop golfing and concede."

Mr. Trump, who has only had a handful of public events since the election, was at his Virginia golf club when Hogan tweeted.

Republican Fred Upton, a congressman from Michigan, also expressed that the election is over for the president, at least in Michigan, as the president's team presents baseless accusations of mass fraud. Upton said there is no such evidence, and the Trump campaign has been unable to present such evidence in court.

"You know, the voters spoke. And here again in Michigan, it's not a razor-thin margin, it's 154,000 votes," he said Sunday on CNN. "154,000 votes is too many to overcome. It's over."

On Saturday, Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania issued a statement congratulating Mr. Biden and Harris after the dismissal of the Trump campaign lawsuit in Pennsylvania.

"With today's decision by Judge Matthew Brann, a longtime conservative Republican whom I know to be a fair and unbiased jurist, to dismiss the Trump campaign's lawsuit, President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania," Toomey wrote. "I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory. They are both dedicated public servants and I will be praying for them and our country."

That number of Republicans publicly conceding Mr. Trump lost, if not urging him to concede, is only likely to grow as states certify their election results. Electors will meet to certify the election results on December 14th, at which point it will be challenging for influential Republicans to insist the election is undecided.

A number of Senate Republicans have urged the Trump administration to at least allow Mr. Biden access to classified briefings, something he currently does not have. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris does have access to classified briefings, but only because she is a current member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and she cannot share that information with Mr. Biden.

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