Hagerty speaks to Trump about elections after confirming Biden’s victory


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – In his first week, Tennessee’s freshman US Senator Bill Hagerty watched in horror as the riots played out at the Capitol around him and decided to step back from his plans to oppose the results of the electoral college leading to the victory of President Joe Biden confirmed despite weeks of pressure from then-President Donald Trump to block certification.

Three months after that January vote, the Republican Senator has not lost the reputation of Trump, who named Hagerty as his ambassador to Japan and overturned him in 2020 with a Senate confirmation.

Hagerty said he met with Trump this week at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. They even talked about the decision Trump faces on whether to run again in 2024 – Hagerty said Trump is focused on the 2022 elections and has not yet decided whether to run.

In a one-on-one interview, Hagerty gave Trump an overview of his new electoral law. It would in large part seek to withhold funding for federal election security if states put in place new electoral guidelines, including changes to postal voting, without first going through their legislatures. The proposal includes a 2020 electoral review but is more cosmetic than realistic in the current Democratic-controlled Congress.

“President Trump was very comfortable with the direction I am going when he and I discussed it yesterday,” Hagerty told The Associated Press on Wednesday in a telephone interview.

The electoral proposal is one of Hagerty’s first bills to be full but will operate its business in temporary office space until the end of the month due to restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. After the businessman’s hurricane, he has caught a pattern of regular criticism of the Biden government, accusing him of blocking the Keystone pipeline, complaining about a surge in border crossings and speaking out against Democratic spending proposals.

He has blown up China since his campaign and is not in favor of the corporate tax increase or the scale of the projects involved in Biden’s infrastructure proposal. He added that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s idea of ​​a global minimum corporate tax rate will not work with China.

“I think it’s foolish to think that China will sign up for anything that puts them in the same boat that the Biden government is trying to put us in on higher corporate taxes,” Hagerty said.

Still scrutinizing which course is right for the U.S. at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, he says the athletes have been training hard.

“I don’t want to punish these athletes, but I am open to ways we can continue to express our displeasure with the Chinese communist regime,” he said.

For weeks after Jan. 6, some Trump-supporting critics on social media nagged Hagerty about the electoral college election that several Republicans had made despite promises to oppose certification. Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn made similar comments after also changing her stance after the uprising. In January, the two said in a joint statement that the riot was a “shocking day of lawlessness” and that inauguration day would prove America remains “the shining city on the hill.”

Unlike Hagerty and Blackburn, the retired Republican Senator Hagerty replaced, Lamar Alexander, had finally declared weeks before the deadly riots that the election was over.

This week, Hagerty said he originally planned to vote against certification because he wanted a commission to conduct an emergency audit in key states that are close together. There Trump targeted his unfounded allegations of voting irregularities and fraud, which were unceremoniously rejected in court. After the riot, Hagerty said it had become clear that the audit would not be discussed.

“One thing I would never do is vote to nationalize our elections to allow Congress to … enter and reverse the results of an election,” Hagerty said.

For those who criticize his vote to confirm Biden’s victory, Hagerty said his new electoral law, with Trump’s blessing, will show them that he stands for “the integrity of the electoral college”.

Following a vaccination advocate in Alexander, Hagerty also said he received his COVID-19 vaccination, a decision he described as personal.

“I’m more than happy to let the people of Tennessee know, and I’ll let them know that I consider the vaccine safe and worth taking,” Hagerty said.

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