US Senate leader Mitch McConnell assured Thursday that the results of the November 3 election would be implemented in an orderly way, a day after President Donald Trump refused to guarantee he will hand over power if he loses the vote.
“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th,” McConnell said in a tweeted statement.
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“There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”
The Republican Senate majority leader did not directly mention Trump’s remarks.
The president sparked outrage on Wednesday over his suggestion he might not honor the results of the election or treat mail-in ballots as legitimate.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump responded when asked at a White House press conference whether if he is committed to the peaceful handover of power upon a change of president.
“You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster,” he said.
The remarks — suggesting Trump is not committed to the most basic tenet of democratic rule in the United States — earned quick criticism from both sides of the aisle.
“Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” Republican Senator Mitt Romney tweeted.
“President Trump: You are not a dictator, and America will not permit you to be one,” said Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate.
In recent campaign speeches, Trump has repeatedly said the election vote count could be rigged by Democrats, taking advantage of a surge in voting by mail due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, he suggested he believed he would win the election if mailed ballots aren’t counted.
“The ballots are out of control,” he said.
“Get rid of the ballots and you will have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” he said.