Trump mum on peaceful transfer of federal power
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump declined to commit Wednesday to providing a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 election, prompting a backlash, including from senior Republicans who underscored their support of an orderly transition regardless of who wins the White House race.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said when asked if he would commit to a peaceful transition, assuming he lost. He also repeated his criticisms of mail-in voting, a practice that he has claimed will lead to fraud.
“You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster,” Trump told reporters. “Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very a peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.”
On Thursday, Trump answered a question about whether he would accept the election results as legitimate by saying he wanted to make sure the election was “honest.” But he added that he wasn’t sure it would be. “We have to be very careful with the ballots. The ballots – that’s a whole big scam.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not name Trump directly but said the transfer of power would continue as usual, tweeting the winner of the election will be inaugurated Jan. 20. “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”
Democrat Joe Biden responded to Trump’s comments Wednesday: “What country are we in? I’m being facetious. Look, he says the most irrational things. I don’t know what to say.”