In what is seen as the biggest blow suffered by President Donald Trump in his bid to overturn the presidential election results in his favour, all 10 living former U.S. defense secretaries have forcefully declared that the presidential election between the outgoing leader and Joe Biden is over.
The former defense secretaries made the declaration in a public letter which was published in The Washington Post on Sunday, as President Trump continues to deny his election loss to President-elect, Joe Biden.
The letter was signed by Dick Cheney, James Mattis, Mark Esper, Leon Panetta, Donald Rumsfeld, William Cohen, Chuck Hagel, Robert Gates, William Perry and Ashton Carter.
“Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived,” the group wrote.
In the letter, the former Defense secretaries, who collectively represent decades of tenure in the position, wrote that presidential transitions “are a crucial part of the successful transfer of power.”
“They often occur at times of international uncertainty about U.S. national security policy and posture. They can be a moment when the nation is vulnerable to actions by adversaries seeking to take advantage of the situation.”
This came after Trump ordered Georgia’s top election official to ‘find 11,780 votes’ and recalculate the state’s presidential election results in his favour, in a leaked call obtained by Washington Post on Sunday.
In the hour-long phone call, Trump also warned the official that he was taking “a big risk” if he did not comply as he continued his attempts to overturn the election results in Georgia, where President-elect Joe Biden won by a margin of 11,779 votes.