President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday that a number of Senate Republicans have privately congratulated him for his victory, despite President Donald Trump‘s ongoing refusal to concede the election.

“There have been more than several sitting Republican senators privately called and congratulated,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I understand the situation they find themselves in.”

He noted that “at least a significant portion of the leadership” would likely begin publicly recognizing his win after the Electoral College convenes on Dec. 14.

A handful of Republican senators have already acknowledged Biden’s victory, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) and Pat Tooney. Similarly, the retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) said that the Biden transition should begin immediately after Michigan certified its results, which occurred on Nov. 23.


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Biden said he is hopeful about the work he will be able to accomplish across party lines.

“I’m not suggesting it’s going to be easy,” he said. “It’s going to be hard. But I’m confident that on the things that affect the national security and the fundamental economic necessity to keep people employed, to get people employed, to bring the economy back, there’s plenty of room we can work.”

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