In Georgia, Loeffler again refuses to say Trump lost

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Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate Raphael Warnock speaks during a debate with Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, Pool)

ATLANTA – Sen. Kelly Loeffler repeatedly refused to acknowledge that President Donald Trump lost reelection in November, as she debated her Democratic opponent, Rev. Raphael Warnock, ahead of twin Georgia runoff elections that will determine which party controls the Senate.

Asked specifically about President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Georgia and whether she agreed with Trump's unfounded accusations of widespread voter fraud, Loeffler sidestepped the matter during a debate Sunday.

Although Trump has lost round after round of court challenges in Georgia and other battleground states, and Georgia's results were certified last month, Loeffler described Trump as merely pursuing “every legal recourse.”

She alleged, without any supporting details, irregularities in the November elections, prompting Warnock to chide her for “casting doubt” on a legitimate election in an effort to appease Trump and his supporters.

“The people have spoken on the presidential election, and they’re waiting on their senator to be focused on them, not the person in the White House,” he said.

The exchange came as a top election official in the state accused Trump and his allies of spreading falsehoods and leading Republicans said they worried that unfounded attacks on the election system could depress turnout in the Jan. 5 runoffs.

But Loeffler steered clear of any criticism of Trump, even as she tacitly acknowledged his defeat. Her victory is necessary to prevent a leftward march under complete Democratic control in Washington, she said.

“Everything is at stake in this election, the future of our country,” she said, warning of a range of liberal and progressive policies that could never become law if Trump was in the Oval Office.