Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted there will be an “orderly” post-election transition – something the president has cast doubt on.
Mr McConnell 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.”
Mr Trump has questioned the integrity of the US postal vote in recent months.
The president is currently following his challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, in national opinion polls 40 days before the election.
While many Americans will vote by mail this year due to the pandemic, Mr. Trump has questioned the safety of this system of mail-in voting.
Every losing presidential candidate in modern times 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 that it will be peaceful,” Graham told Fox News.
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?
A reporter asked Mr. Trump on Wednesday night whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power “win, lose or draw” 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.”
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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 this time not to admit defeat “under any circumstances” in a close race on election night.
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.