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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Trump declines to commit to a peaceful transition of power after election


If President Donald Trump loses this year’s election to Joe Biden, will he commit to a peaceful transition of power?

On Wednesday, he wouldn’t say.

When asked the question during a White House news briefing, Trump instead cast doubt on the reliability of election infrastructure.

“We’re going to have to see what happens,” the president responded to a reporter. “You know, I’ve been complaining about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster.”

Trump has repeatedly expressed doubt about the current election infrastructure, even though numerous studies have found voter fraud to be exceedingly rare in the U.S. The president has waged a campaign against the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots expected this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, alleging that vote-by-mail is less secure than other forms of voting. He pushed a baseless theory that foreign actors are plotting to send in fake ballots, though his own intelligence community has found no evidence of such a plot.

The election also comes on the heels of a summer of unrest, with anti-racism protesters, far-right demonstrators and law enforcement at times squaring off in highly publicized clashes. When asked on Wednesday about the potential public disturbances that could follow this year’s election, Trump said: “Get rid of the ballots, you’ll have a very transfer — you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

“And the ballots are out of control,” he continued. “You know it. And you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats.”

Shortly after the comment, Trump pivoted to touting his soon-to-be-announced Supreme Court nominee and calling the potential implementation of stricter FDA guidelines for the authorization of a coronavirus vaccine a “political move.” He abruptly left the news briefing, telling reporters that he had an emergency phone call.



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