'Starting to see cracks emerge' in GOP defense of Trump's refusal to concede -- here's why
Donald Trump in Henderson, Nevada -- MSNBC screenshot

MSNBC's Kasie Hunt said Republican senators largely believe that President Donald Trump has legitimately lost the election, but they're in a political bind that prevents them from speaking out.

The Capitol Hill reporter told "Morning Joe" that some GOP senators are cautious because they're afraid of upending the Georgia runoff election that could threaten their majority, although a Joe Biden win might actually strengthen their candidates there.

"I think you are starting to see cracks emerge because of what you just outlined," Hunt said. "These are people who have to rely on Americans having faith that their votes count and that our elections are free and fair. These are elected Republicans, they are still in the bind that President Trump has created for them, and I think there is a lot of questions about whether President Trump would listen to them or care very much, and I think Mitch McConnell is still worried about those races in Georgia and doesn't want the president to do anything to damage his chances of winning the Senate majority there."

The president's refusal to concede had already cast a cloud over Biden's win, and Hunt said some GOP lawmakers are worried about the longterm harm to democratic institutions.

"You are starting to see these Republicans acknowledge and say out loud," Hunt said. "Politically, it's just incredibly difficult. If you look at those races in Georgia, their strongest argument in those races is to say we'll be a check on a Democratic administration. [Sen.] Kelly Loeffler, in addition to what you mentioned about them saying the election was rigged for her and [Sen.] David Perdue, they can't say we will be a check on Joe Biden because they are not allowed to say, per President Trump's rules, that Joe Biden is the president-elect. The longer that they continue this, I think the more difficult it's going to be for them to get out of it"

"I mean, we are talking about what the president is going to do, perhaps, in 2024," she added. "I mean, he is, for all of these people who are so loyal to him while they were looking ahead to their own careers in the future, their ambitions are stalled for as long as he wants to try to keep a hold on the party, unless they are willing to step up and do something about it now, which I am not sure we are going to see that."