Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said there would be an “orderly” post-election transition after the president questioned the integrity of the process.
The top US senator has said that regardless of who wins the November 3 presidential election, there will be a peaceful inauguration on January 20.
A day earlier, President Donald Trump refused to commit to this, saying “we will have to see what happens.”
He cast doubt on postal voting, but election officials insist it is safe.
The president is currently following his challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, in national opinion polls 40 days before the election.
Many more Americans than usual will vote by mail this year, due to the pandemic, and Mr. Trump has questioned the safety of this system of postal voting.
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Every losing presidential candidate has conceded. If Mr. Trump refused to accept the election result, it would drag the country into uncharted territory.
Mr. Biden suggested that if that happened, the military could remove Mr. Trump from the White House.
What did the Republicans say?
“The winner of the November 3 election will be inaugurated on January 20,” McConnell tweeted Thursday.
“There will be an orderly transition as there has been every four years since 1792.”
Other Republican lawmakers, including Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham, have also pledged safe and fair elections.
“I can assure you it will be peaceful,” Graham told Fox News, but suggested that a decision could go to the highest court in the land. “If the Republicans lose, we will accept the result. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Joe Biden, I will accept this result. ”
Senator Mitt Romney offered a more critical response Wednesday, saying that “any suggestion that a president might violate this constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”
Qu’a dit Trump?
On Thursday, Mr Trump again questioned the integrity of the election, saying he was not sure it could be “honest” because, he said, the ballots by correspondence are “a very big scam”.
Earlier today, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Mr. Trump “will accept the results of a free and fair election.”
The president sparked controversy on Wednesday night when a reporter asked him if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of “win, lose or draw” power to Mr Biden.
“I complained very strongly about the ballots,” Mr. Trump said. “And the ballots are a disaster. ”
When the reporter retorted that “people are revolting,” Mr. Trump intervened, “Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very – you’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly. , there will be no transfer. I will be a continuation. ”
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In 2016, Mr. Trump also refused to pledge to accept the election results in his contest against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, whom she called an attack on democracy.
He was ultimately declared the winner, although he lost the popular vote of three million, a result he still questioned.
What did the Democrats say?
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Washington’s third most powerful politician, told reporters on Thursday that she was not surprised at Mr. Trump’s previous remarks.
Pelosi added that the president “admires people who perpetuate their role in government,” quoting Russian Vladimir Putin, North Korean Kim Jong-un and Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“But I remind him: you are not in North Korea, you are not in Turkey, you are not in Russia, Mr. President … so why don’t you try for a moment to honor your oath. ”
Speaking to reporters in Delaware, Biden said Mr. Trump’s comments about the power transition were “irrational.”
The Democratic team also said that “the US government is perfectly capable of escorting intruders out of the White House.”
On Thursday, a spokesperson for Biden told Politico that the former vice president “has clearly been involved in a peaceful transition of power before” and will also do so after the 2020 election.
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Mr Biden himself has been accused by the Tories of stoking the unrest over the election by saying in August: ‘Does anyone think there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected? ”
Last month, Clinton urged Biden not to admit defeat early on election night. “I think it’s going to go on forever, and ultimately I think he’ll win if we don’t give an inch. ”
She referred to the scenario whereby the Republicans would try to “spoil the absentee vote” and mobilize an army of lawyers to challenge the result.
Doubts about the fairness of the November vote come as another high-stakes political battle is waged – over whether or not to appoint a new Supreme Court judge ahead of the election.
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