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