In the past, Donald Trump has shunned the idea of a traditional transfer of power, even way back to the 2016 campaign when he was seemingly joking about it. Now, with the election just over a month away, he was recently asked by a reporter at a news conference how he would respond if he was to lose the election in November.
The question was asked because of the fact that there are many American cities right now that are rioting because of racial killings by police, and most recently because of the decision to only indict one of the three officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor, an African-American ER Technician who was killed in her sleep by police bullets in March 2020.
Trump has referred to protesters as “terrorists” according to the New York Times, and supports the National Guard being sent to the cities that are holding large protests. And, he recently refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election.
Trump’s Response to Having a Peaceful Transfer of Power After the Election
The question Trump was asked about having peaceful transfer of power after the election (whatever the results may be in November) was very important to ask with the dangerous rioting going on all over the United States. With him being the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, notably the National Guard, the American public wants to know how he’ll react if he loses in November.
Trump choosing reporters to talk to during the conference where he is refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. Image from NBC News.
The conversation between Trump and the reporter went like this:
REPORTER: Win, lose, or draw in this election, will you commit here today to a peaceful transfer of power? There’s been rioting in Louisville, there’s been rioting in many cities across this country, in both of the so-called red and blue states. Will you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transferral of power after the election?
TRUMP: Well, we’re gonna have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster.
REPORTER: I understand that. But people are rioting. Do you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transfer of power?
TRUMP: Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful transfer, there won’t be a transfer frankly, there will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it. And you know who knows it better than anybody else? The democrats know it better than anyone else.
Reactions to Trump Not Committing to a Peaceful Transition of Power
“Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” tweeted Mitt Romney, a republican who isn’t hesitant when it comes to criticizing Trump. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”
Joe Biden was asked how he felt about Trump’s response. “What country are we in?” he said according to The Hill, then removed his mask so that the reporters could hear him clearer. “I’m being facetious, I said what country are we in? He says the most irrational things. I don’t know what to say about it, but it doesn’t surprise me.”
The top republican in the senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also responded against Trump on Twitter “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792,” he wrote.