Republican Sen. James Lankford Apologizes to Black Oklahomans for Questioning Biden’s Election Victory

James Lankford (REUTERS)

Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford apologized to his state’s African American residents for challenging President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in a letter issued after Black Tulsans urged the senator to step down from a reconciliation committee for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

“I can assure you, my intent to give a voice to Oklahomans who had questions was never also an intent to diminish the voice of any Black American,” Lankford wrote.

In the months after President Donald Trump’s election loss, the president and his allies floated conspiracy theories and leveled baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud that centered heavily on voting in predominantly Black cities and regions.

The president and his allies filed more than 60 lawsuits in state and federal courts, seeking to overturn election results in states the president lost. The election fraud claims were rejected on merits by both Republican-appointed and Democratic-appointed judges. The U.S. Supreme Court twice refused to take up Trump-endorsed lawsuits that sought to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election.

The effort to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the November election has triggered outrage after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.

“We reject the careless rhetoric and failures of leadership that facilitated, and arguably, incited, the lawless mob action that resulted in property damage, injury, and death, and sullied our internationally admired democracy,” the reconciliation commission said Wednesday.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Matthew Brown

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