GOP pushes back on Trump tran­si­tion threat

The Timaru Herald - - World -

A stream of Repub­li­can sen­a­tors yes­ter­day pub­licly pushed back on Don­ald Trump for not com­mit­ting to the peace­ful tran­si­tion of power if he loses the US elec­tion in Novem­ber.

Some of the party’s most prom­i­nent names, in­clud­ing for­mer pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney and Repub­li­can leader in the Se­nate Mitch McCon­nell, is­sued state­ments.

While the com­ments did not men­tion Trump by name, the col­lec­tive dec­la­ra­tion of sup­port for the elec­toral norms amounted to a re­buke of the US pres­i­dent from mem­bers of his own party.

The will­ing­ness to break with their usual re­luc­tance to con­tra­dict the pres­i­dent over pol­icy led to spec­u­la­tion that there is a shared un­der­stand­ing they must up­hold the elec­toral sys­tem.

The lat­est row was kick-started when Trump was asked in the

White House brief­ing on Thurs­day if he would com­mit to the peace­ful trans­fer of power should he lose.

‘‘We’re go­ing to have to see what hap­pens,’’ Trump said be­fore re­peat­ing con­cerns he has voiced

fre­quently about mail-in vot­ing.

The re­marks once again raised con­cerns that if r Trump loses the elec­tion nar­rowly to Joe Bi­den, the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, he will not ac­cept the re­sult. Later

that evening Rom­ney, the Utah se­na­tor, tweeted: ‘‘Fun­da­men­tal to democ­racy is the peace­ful tran­si­tion of power; with­out that, there is Be­larus.

‘‘Any sug­ges­tion that a pres­i­dent

might not re­spect this Con­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tee is both un­think­able and un­ac­cept­able.’’

Yes­ter­day McCon­nell, the Se­nate leader and a Trump loy­al­ist, is­sued his own state­ment which was less barbed but car­ried a sim­i­lar mes­sage.

‘‘The win­ner of the Novem­ber 3rd elec­tion will be in­au­gu­rated on Jan­uary 20th. There will be an or­derly tran­si­tion just as there has been ev­ery four years since 1792,’’ he tweeted.

Kayleigh McE­nany, the White

House press sec­re­tary, at­tempted to clear up Trump’s com­ments yes­ter­day, say­ing: ‘‘The pres­i­dent will ac­cept the re­sults of a free and fair elec­tion.’’

Meanwhile Trump was greeted with vo­cal protests yes­ter­day as he paid his re­spects to Ruth Bader Gins­burg, the Supreme Court jus­tice who died last week. Stand­ing by her cof­fin on the steps of the Supreme Court, Trump re­ceived boos and chants of ‘‘vote him out’’ and ‘‘hon­our her wish’’, a ref­er­ence to Jus­tice Gins­burg’s wish as she was dy­ing not to have her seat filled by an­other judge un­til af­ter the elec­tion.

❏ Mary Trump, the niece of Don­ald Trump, yes­ter­day sued the pres­i­dent, ac­cus­ing him and other fam­ily mem­bers of cheat­ing her out of tens of mil­lions of dol­lars from an in­her­i­tance.

The com­plaint filed in a New York state court was against Don­ald Trump, his sis­ter Maryanne Trump Barry and the es­tate of his brother Robert Trump. – Tele­graph Group

‘‘The win­ner of the Novem­ber 3rd elec­tion will be in­au­gu­rated on Jan­uary 20th. There will be an or­derly tran­si­tion just as there has been ev­ery four years since 1792.’’ Mitch McCon­nell Se­nate leader

AP

Mitch McCon­nell, left, and Mitt Rom­ney are among Repub­li­can sen­a­tors promis­ing a peace­ful tran­si­tion if Don­ald Trump loses the Novem­ber elec­tion.

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