US congressional leaders – Democrats and Republicans alike – have swiftly pushed back against President Donald Trump after he declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the upcoming election.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Trump said “we’re going to have to see what happens,” responding to a reporter’s question about committing to the results. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday insisted there will be an orderly post-election transition. “The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th,” McConnell tweeted. “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”
Republican Senator Mitt Romney was more critical of Trump. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable,” Romney said.
On the other side of the political divide, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, told reporters that she was not surprised at Trump’s earlier remarks. She said that the president admires men like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Turkey’s Recep Tayypip 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 just try for a moment to honour your oath of office,” Pelosi told reporters.
Trump’s current Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, said he wasn’t surprised by the President’s comments. “What country are we in?” Biden said, adding, “Look, he says the most irrational things. I don’t know what to say about it. But it doesn’t surprise me.”
Politicians, including Joe Biden, have suggested that should Trump refuse to accept the result of the election, the military could remove him from the While House.