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Republican Virginia Congressman Denver Riggleman shot back at a tweet Saturday that accused him and 10 other GOP politicians of being “responsible” for the “corrupt election” that President Donald Trump lost.
The meme shows a photo of a man holding a large blank sign. “Corrupt old Joe is a tool! His media allies are hiding his voter fraud,” the photo says, along with “Stop the Steal” and “We will win.”
Besides the picture, the person under the Twitter handle of @ckkirsch1 wrote: “We know that the media is not the only ones responsible for this corrupt election. So are you all. Represent honesty”—before tagging the 11 politicians.
Riggleman responded by saying that many similar posts have sprung up following the election, and that he was “proud to be on this list with my honorable colleagues,” many of whom have agreed that President-elect Joe Biden won the November 3 election or have called for a peaceful transition of power from the Trump administration to Biden’s.
“We have been tagged and called ‘traitors’ based on our use of data analytics, facts and common sense,” Riggleman tweeted. “Time for a GOP that represents the core of America, not the manic fringes.”
Riggleman has said previously that Republicans should respect the results of the election and not argue it. “There’s no way this is gonna be turned around. This election is over,” he said in an interview.
The other politicians that @ckkirsch1 tagged included Maine Senator Susan Collins; Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger; Illinois House Leader Jim Durkin; Illinois Congressman John Shimkus; Florida Congressman Francis Rooney; Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger; Michigan Congressman Paul Mitchell; Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon; Utah Congressman John Curtis; and Alaska Congressman Don Young.
Many of the Republican politicians that the Twitter user tagged had made similar comments in calling for a smooth transition of power, Trump to concede, or simply acknowledging Biden as the next president.
Some of the politicians listed have expressed skepticism, while showing an acceptance for Biden as president-elect. Curtis said that Biden should be recognized as president-elect in a press release, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
“I would tell him that I will take him at his word that he will be a unifier and a president to all, including those of us that did not vote for him,” Curtis said.
Young said he wishes Biden well, even though he predicts disagreements with him, according to the Anchorage Daily News. In an interview with KETV, Bacon also said he doesn’t agree with Biden’s policies, but “we respect the will of the voters.”
In a November 9 statement, Collins congratulated Biden and said that he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “should be given every opportunity to ensure that they are ready to govern on January 20th.” Similarly, Rooney tweeted congratulations and called for Americans to support the president-elect.
As previously reported, Raffensperger in an interview called for Trump to “leave quietly,” after certifying Georgia’s election results.
The three Illinois politicians have all also acknowledged Biden’s victory. Shimkus and Durkin both called for the transition of power to begin in a Facebook post and an interview with The Chicago Sun Times, respectively. Kinzinger tweeted congratulations to Biden and Harris on November 7. He also responded to Riggleman’s tweet, explaining the importance of accepting election results.
“[T]his list is of those who believe that win or lose, you accept the will of the people. Saying an election is stolen doesn’t make it so. Lies and conspiracies won’t work,” he wrote.
Congressman Paul Mitchell also responded to Riggleman’s tweet, expressing pride for standing by his colleagues. The Michigan representative has tweeted multiple times about beginning the transition of power.
The original tweet that Riggleman responded to demonstrates some of the growing disillusionment with the Republican Party that Trump supporters have experienced following the election. Similar memes and posts have sprung up in the weeks following the election.
Newsweek called Riggleman’s D.C. office and left a message, but did not receive a response in time for publication.