Despite nonstop protest from the Trump administration over the past month, the Electoral College finally voted to elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States on Monday. And that prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to, at long last, admit Biden won the election over Donald Trump.
The only problem? Russian president Vladimir Putin had already officially recognized Biden as the new president-elect. Overnight, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Putin had relayed his congratulations to Biden for winning.
“In his message, Vladimir Putin wished the president-elect every success and expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, which bear special responsibility for global security and stability, can, despite their differences, effectively contribute to solving many problems and meeting challenges that the world is facing today,” the Russian ministry said in a statement.
Given the suspicions about the 2016 Trump campaign colluding with Russia on some kind of misinformation strategy — plus the resulting investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller — once McConnell admitted that Biden won, the joke practically wrote itself. Twitter users wasted no time going after McConnell — who a lot of Very Online folks often refer to as “Moscow Mitch” — for refusing to recognize Biden’s victory over Trump until after Putin did so.
Check out a smattering of those responses below.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) December 15, 2020
An embarrassing morning in America as the Senate Majority Leader scrambles to catch up to Vladimir Putin in recognizing the will of the American people.
— Rex Chapman?? (@RexChapman) December 15, 2020
Putin and Mitch McConnell trying to figure out who would recognize Trump's loss first pic.twitter.com/OTKw0o9mat
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 15, 2020
Moscow Mitch McConnell only recognized President-elect Biden’s win after Putin did. Makes sense.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) December 15, 2020
Weird! Putin beat @senatemajldr to congratulating Biden https://t.co/HlxQlgZ2SY
— Olga Lautman ?? (@OlgaNYC1211) December 15, 2020
McConnell speech congratulating Biden a reminder of how it's supposed to work (minus the part of coming a month after the election, and AFTER Vladimir Putin and every other world leader of note).
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) December 15, 2020
he waited till Putin congratulated Biden first
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) December 15, 2020
So Putin first, then the Kentucky Nut Cutter.
Got it. https://t.co/l1dIvBBDc1
— LB ?☮️ (@LincolnsBible) December 15, 2020
Hours after Putin congratulated Biden, Mitch McConnell acknowledged Biden’s win.
I think not.#MoscowMitch
— Shari Lynn (@LynnSharig8) December 15, 2020
Moscow Mitch waited for Putin to go first, but now he's finally congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. https://t.co/X0Dp9dkZT8
— Grant Stern is boosted! (@grantstern) December 15, 2020
Historians will note that U.S. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell FINALLY admitted the obvious — AFTER Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin congratulated @JoeBiden as the President-elect. https://t.co/CcW7kvd5ev
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) December 15, 2020
While the Electoral College has cast its votes for Biden, the election is still technically not over until Congress formally tabulates those votes on Jan. 6. It’s expected that at least some Republicans will use that session to once again attempt to overturn the election.
But it won’t be easy for them. While they can raise objections to the vote in specific states, they would need a majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate to actually overturn the election — which is not too likely to happen with Democrats in control of the House.