The Republican leader in the US senate has congratulated Joe Biden on becoming president-elect – in a significant blow to Donald Trump.
Mitch McConnell said the Electoral College – a group of electors who voted to formally confirm the result of last month’s election – “had spoken”.
“Many of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result,” he admitted on Tuesday.
“But our system of government has the processes to determine who will be sworn in on 20 January.”
The intervention marks a crucial abandonment by one of the most senior GOP figures of the incumbent president’s refusal to accept the election result.
Mr Trump has claimed without evidence that has stood up to legal scrutiny that the vote was rigged against him.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt, the chairman of the inaugural committee, also said the panel will now “deal with” Mr Biden “as the president-elect”.
Just last week, the Republicans on the same committee had declined to publicly do so.
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