MITCH McConnell has called for an "orderly transition to the next administration" after Lindsey Graham was seen fist-bumping Kamala Harris on the floor of the Senate.
The pair, both senior Republicans, made the apparent acknowledgements of Joe Biden and Harris's election win despite continuing to back Donald Trump's bid to overturn the result.
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The president's unfounded claims of voter fraud and his refusal to concede have meant key components of the handover to Biden and his team are yet to get underway.
Asked about the issue on Tuesday, Senator McConnell said: "We're going to have an orderly transfer from this administration to the next one.
"What we all say about it is frankly irrelevant. All of it will happen right on time, and we will swear in the next administration on January 20th."
McConnell has previously said that the president and his legal team are entitled to present "whatever evidence" they might have of voter fraud.
Also on Tuesday, Senator Graham was filmed bumping fists with Harris and patting her on the back as he passed her on the Senate floor.
The friendly greeting took place as the Senate voted on Judy Shelton, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors nominee.
The California senator voted against the controversial nominee Shelton – making the final vote 47-50.
CNN's Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju wrote to Twitter: "Asked about his fist bump to Kamala Harris, Sen. Lindsey Graham told me this: 'Just saying hello – I haven’t a seen in her in a while.
"'If it works out and they make it, I told her I wish her well and try to work where we can.
"'We will know here in a month or so or less."
Other Republicans to have congratulated Harris include Senators Tim Scott, Mike Rounds, James Lankford, and Ben Sasse.
Lankford later told CNN he was just "being polite".
“The election is not settled. So if you are trying to catch it and spin it however you want to – if someone walks right up to you, you say, ‘Hello, congratulations'," he said.
Lankford also reportedly asked Harris on the Senate floor: "How is the food fight behind you in California?"
In the days after the election, Graham announced that he supported the Trump's campaign lawsuits in battleground states.
He said: "They deserve a chance to make that case. I’m going to stand with President Trump.
"If you’re a Democrat and doing this, it would be cheered on!
"And we are not going to let the media intimidate us from exploring whether these contests were fairly had.”
The Senate vote comes one day after Georgia's Republican Secretary of State said that he felt pressured by Graham to toss out legal ballots in a bid to help Trump.
Brad Raffensperger said on Monday that Graham asked him whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, a question he interpreted as a suggestion to toss out legally cast votes.
Raffensperger made the comments to The Washington Post, saying he has faced rising pressure from fellow Republicans who want to see Biden's narrow lead in the state reversed.
Meanwhile, Trump has branded the election as “fraudulent” without substantial evidence and has claimed that Biden “stole” votes from him.
The president continues to deny his loss to Biden after he won over 270 votes in the November 3 election.
Trump has insisted – without evidence – that "there is tremendous corruption and fraud going on" and demanded the vote counting stopped in states where Biden had a lead on Election Day.
The president raged in a recent statement: "This is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process.
"We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation."
However, a former White House staffer has claimed that Trump will concede to Biden and attend his inauguration – as some people are convinced he is going to install himself as some sort of "dictator."
On Tuesday, the president fired the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency after the election official called the 2020 election the "most secure in history."
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