Trump’s Refusal To Commit To A Peaceful Transfer Of Power Receives Bipartisan Backlash
When asked about the president’s remarks during a briefing Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Joe Biden asked reporters, “What country are we in?”
Politicians from both parties have reacted en masse after President Trump on Wednesday said he wouldn’t commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the November election. The president has repeatedly in recent months attacked vote-by-mail and spread unsubstantiated theories that voter fraud would undermine his reelection.
At a White House briefing Thursday, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to reporters asking about Trump's comments.
“The president will accept the results of a free and fair election. But I think that your question is more fitting to be asked of Democrats,” she said, referring to a widely debunked theory that the U.S. is plagued with mail-in voter fraud.
FBI Director Chris Wray reaffirmed Thursday that there is no evidence of "any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise."
At a Thursday press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “We want a peaceful transfer of power.“
“It’s very sad that you even have to ask that question,” she continued.
When asked about the president’s remarks during a briefing Wednesday, Biden told reporters, “What country are we in?”
“I'm being facetious. I said, what country are we in? Look, he says the most irrational things. I don't know what to say,” Biden added, according to a report by The Hill.
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R), a known Trump critic, tweeted on Wednesday about power transfer without naming Trump specifically.
“Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” Romney said. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted Thursday, “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.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also tweeted about having a “legitimate & fair election.”
During a Wednesday press conference at the White House, reporter Brian Karem asked the president whether he would “commit here today for a peaceful transferral of power after the November election.”
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump responded. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
“I understand that, but people are rioting,” Karem responded.
“Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” the president said.