Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary, said on Thursday that President Donald Trump didn’t expect to have “any kind of transfer of power.”
“I think the president feels, like many Americans, that it’s not going to matter, because he’s going to win on Election Day,” she told Fox News.
Trump has caused alarm by refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election on November 3.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary, said on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power was “not going to matter” because he would win the election on November 3.
“I think the president feels, like many Americans, that it’s not going to matter, because he’s going to win on Election Day, and he’ll be serving another four years,” Sanders told Fox News. “So I don’t think he expects to need to have any type of transfer of power.”
“Win, lose, or draw in this election, will you commit here today for a peaceful transferal of power after the election?” a reporter asked the president during a press briefing.
“We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster,” Trump replied. “Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very transfer — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”
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Sanders echoed Trump, asserting that many voters would be “questioning the final result” of the election because of the increase in mail-in ballots.
Though Trump and some in his circle have for months spread misinformation about the issue, experts have frequently emphasized that such attacks on mail-in voting are baseless.
“In case anyone is unclear on the concept, in the United States of America, we do not ‘get rid of’ ballots. We count them. Counting the ballots — *all* the ballots — is the way we determine who leads our country after our elections. The only way,” Ellen Weintraub, a commissioner of the Federal Elections Commission, tweeted on Wednesday.
On Thursday, top Republicans tiptoed around outright condemning Trump’s statements but tried to reassure voters that there would be a peaceful transfer of power.
“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted. “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”
Meanwhile, congressional Democrats sounded the alarm on the implications of Trump’s rhetoric.
“I think it is terribly important that we actually listen to and take seriously what Donald Trump is saying,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “There is nothing in our Constitution or in our laws that give Donald Trump the privilege of deciding whether or not he will step aside if he loses.”
Trump appeared to double down on his comments later on Thursday.
“We want to make sure the election is honest, and I’m not sure that it can be,” the president said. “I don’t know that it can be with this whole situation, unsolicited ballots. They’re unsolicited — millions being sent to everybody. And we’ll see.”
The White House downplayed Trump’s comments.
“The president will accept the results of a free and fair election,” the press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, told a reporter on Thursday. “He will accept the will of the American people.”
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