'Traitors and Patriots': CNN Host Calls GOP Senators' Election Challenge a 'Disgraceful Effort'

CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday ridiculed at least 12 Republicans and President Donald Trump for attempting a "bloodless coup" to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory, suggesting such "traitors" are seeking Civil War-era chaos.

The State of the Union anchor highlighted the U.S. experiencing December as its deadliest month yet during the coronavirus pandemic, but juxtaposed such data with Trump and Republicans trying to overthrow the will of American voters. Tapper said this GOP-led "sedition caucus" is too focused on undermining America's democratic voting process and is instead posturing for potential 2024 political campaigns. The longtime CNN host said all 12 Republican senators who have vowed to oppose Biden's victory this week either refused to come on his show or ignored the cable news network's requests to explain their seemingly seditious actions.

The dozen GOP lawmakers plan to halt a typically innocuous congressional joint session vote on Wednesday where Biden—or any president who wins the election every four years— is set to have his official Electoral College vote count approved.

"We invited all of the 12 senators involved in plotting this disgraceful effort to come on the show this morning to try to defend and explain their position. Each of them declined or failed to respond," Tapper said.

The CNN host quoted an 1861 letter from Ulysses S. Grant to his father, in which the then-Army officer explained his reasoning for siding with the Union Army as South Carolina and other states began to secede from the country and provoke the Civil War.

"'There are but two parties now, traitors and patriots,'" Tapper said Sunday.

The 1861 letter from Grant, who would go on to become a Union Army general and later president, said with more context: "Whatever may have been my political opinions before, I have but one sentiment now. That is, we have a Government, and laws and a flag, and they must all be sustained. There are but two parties now, traitors and patriots and I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter, and I trust, the stronger party."

Meanwhile, Tapper went on to ridicule House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and asked Americans what they think would have happened to their votes if he was leading a Republican majority. One member of the GOP "sedition caucus," Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, did appear on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, where host Chuck Todd labeled him an "arsonist." Johnson defended his actions in a rant that referenced Hunter Biden and the mainstream media.

The dozen Republicans calling for the "emergency 10-day audit of the election are primarily from Southern states which seceded from the U.S. and formed the confederacy prior to the Civil War. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Josh Hawley of Missouri are among those saying they hope to throw up one final roadblock to Biden's path to the White House this week.

President Trump is calling for "wild" mass protests to take over Washington amid the Wednesday joint session.

Tapper continued, demanding Washington Republicans and Trump explain what they are doing to curb COVID-19 cases as there have been fewer than 4 million vaccinations administered nationwide.

"What are the president and a big chunk of congressional Republicans focused on? Undermining the results of the election. Essentially a bloodless coup. Leading the Republican Party into a state of turmoil."

Newsweek reached out to Johnson's office and the White House for additional remarks Sunday morning.

jake tapper cnn kevin mccarthy
CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday ridiculed at least twelve Republicans and President Donald Trump for attempting a "bloodless coup" to overturn President-elect Joe Biden' victory, suggesting such "traitors" are seeking Civil War-era chaos. Screenshot: CNN | Twitter