'Do Not Concede, Mr. President': Lindsey Graham Urges Trump to 'Fight Hard' After Election Loss

Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham does not believe Donald Trump should concede the election, after national ballot reporting confirmed Joe Biden's win over the weekend.

Addressing Trump's reluctance to accept his Democratic opponent's victory—as the president pushes false allegations of voter fraud and corruption—Graham called the election's results "contested" during a Fox News appearance on Sunday morning.

"This is a contested election," he said in interview comments to host Maria Bartiromo. After subsequently recommending against Trump's concession, Graham added: "Do not concede, Mr. President. Fight hard."

The remarks come amid Trump and his re-election campaign's effort to invalidate votes through multiple lawsuits that target elections procedures and tabulation activity in various parts of the country. Deviating from the influx of backlash both Trump and his campaign have received in light of their legal pursuits—which many are criticizing as attempts to suppress votes and undermine the U.S. electoral processes—Graham said he supports the lawsuits' aims on Sunday.

Trump's campaign has filed roughly a dozen lawsuits since Election Day. The suits aim to interfere with election results in swing states—including Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania, where the Associated Press officially called races favoring Biden—or where ballots tabulated thus far indicate a win for the Democratic nominee. Elections attorneys and legal experts say most of the campaign's efforts to contradict ballot tallies and tabulation procedures in court have little merit, and several judges have already dismissed litigation brought earlier by the campaign.

The lawsuits predominantly seek to disqualify certain ballots cast by mail in the battleground states mentioned. On Saturday, the Trump campaign announced it filed an additional suit in Arizona, alleging its most populous county "incorrectly rejected votes cast by in-person voters" at the polls on November 3.

Graham claimed Sunday that there is "evidence six people registered to vote in Pennsylvania after their deaths, and electronic tabulation systems switched Michigan ballots originally cast for Trump to instead support Biden's election.

Lindsey Graham
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican projected to have earned another term in Congress after the general election, addresses supporters during a watch party in Columbia on November 3. Graham insisted Donald Trump should not concede the presidency to Joe Biden during a Fox News interview on Sunday. Sean Rayford/Getty

"To my Republican colleagues out there: we have to fight back or we will accept our fate," Graham continued during Sunday's interview. "There a lot of things being alleged out there that need to be looked at," he continued, referring to the year's expanded use of mail-in ballots as a "nightmare," in an opinion mirroring those expressed by the president.

Graham, who was named the projected winner of the state's senatorial race following Tuesday's election, is due to resume his seat in the Senate for a subsequent term. The Republican lawmaker was initially elected South Carolina's senator in 2003.

Shortly after the AP declared Biden the new president-elect on Saturday, Graham said he received an affidavit from a U.S. postal worker in Pennsylvania that claimed leadership within the Postal Service had plans to "backdate ballots mailed after the election." The senator told Bartiromo the postal inspector and personnel at the Federal Bureau of Investigation are pursuing an inquiry into accusations included in the affidavit on Sunday.

Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, is a critical battleground state. Voting statistics indicate Biden earned a majority of the state's popular vote by a slim lead.

Graham's latest remarks about the election appears to contrast his previous statements in 2015 in which he praised Biden, his former Senate colleague. At one paint, Graham teared up when the discussion referenced the then-recent death of Biden's son Beau.

"The bottom line is if you can't admire Joe Biden as a person, you got a problem. You need to do some self evaluation, cause what's not to like," Graham said five years ago. "Here's what I can tell you. Life can change just like that. Don't take it for granted. Don't take relationships for granted."

Newsweek reached out to Graham's senatorial campaign for additional comments, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.

Updated 12:03 PM ET, with additional information.