Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell joined other Republicans to reject US President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power following the November 3 election, defending the US system of constitutional democracy.
“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792,” McConnell wrote in a tweet.
Several other legislators came out strongly in favour of the peaceful transition of power following the Republican president’s comments on Wednesday, although none criticised him directly.
“The peaceful transfer of power is enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic. America’s leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath,” Representative Liz Cheney, who leads the House of Representatives Republican Conference, wrote on Twitter.Senator Marco Rubio, a former Republican presidential candidate, asserted the upcoming election contest between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will be legitimate, fair and in line with more than two centuries of American practice.In a tweet, Republican Representative Steve Stivers wrote: “Nothing defines our Constitutional Republic more than the peaceful transition of power. I’ve taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and I will uphold that oath.”On Wednesday, Trump, responding to a reporter’s question, refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose in November.
“Rather than trying to defuse the situation he’s fanning the flames,” she said after the president spent Thursday continuing to cast unsubstantiated doubts on the integrity of the polls.
In the White House, spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Trump would “accept the result of a free and fair election.”
Not all Republicans have expressed alarm at Trump’s remarks.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who is overseeing the process to weigh the president’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee, said he expected a peaceful transition.
“I can assure you it will be peaceful,” Graham told Fox News. “Now we may have litigation about who won the election, but the (Supreme) Court will decide and if the Republicans lose, we will accept that result. But we need a full court.”