GOP Senator Joni Ernst Breaks With Trump, Tears Into 'Offensive' Giuliani Press Conference

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa is condemning the Trump campaign's Thursday press conference during which the president's lawyers again issued yet-to-be-proven claims of widespread voter fraud amid attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. During that conference, Rudy Giuliani claimed Trump "won the election by a landslide," despite President-elect Joe Biden having won nearly 6 million more popular votes and having secured a projected 306 electoral college votes.

Speaking with Fox Radio host Guy Benson on Thursday, Ernst called the press conference "offensive" and pushed back against Giuliani's claims that Trump is the clear winner of the race, stating, "I would say there does have to be proof." Ernst, Forbes reports, said that as of now, she has not "seen proof… I haven't seen it personally." She added that"while there are “a lot of allegations out there," it is critical that the president's legal team "present that information to a court of law."

Ernst, a member of GOP leadership who won reelection earlier this month, was not the only member of the GOP to speak out against the allegations made during the conference. Nebraska's Republican Sen. Ben Sasse also condemned the briefing, warning that such press conferences "erode public trust." In a statement obtained by The Hill, Sasse said, "obviously Rudy and his buddies should not pressure electors to ignore their certification obligations under the statute We are a nation of laws, not tweets." He went on to urge his fellow Nebraskans to pay attention to the legal arguments being made in court rather than the Trump campaign's press conferences and the president’s ongoing tweets regarding the election.

"Based on what I've read in their filings, when Trump campaign lawyers have stood before courts under oath, they have repeatedly refused to actually allege grand fraud—because there are legal consequences for lying to judges," Sasse said. "President Trump lost Michigan by more than 100,000 votes and the campaign and its allies have lost in or withdrawn all five lawsuits in Michigan for being unable to produce any evidence."

Speaking following the conference, Ernst, meanwhile, had also expressed concern over remarks made by Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who said, without evidence, "we have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates … paid to have the system rigged to work for them." Ernst said that the remarks were "offensive," adding that "to insinuate that Republican and Democratic candidates paid to throw off this election I think is absolutely outrageous and I do take offense to that." She accused Powell of trying to "confuse the voters of the United States."