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Republican leader promises ‘orderly’ transition of power as Donald Trump continues to sow doubt



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Republican leader Mitch McConnell has promised an “orderly transition” of power after Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer if he loses the presidential election.

When asked a question about committing to the results of the November 3 election, Mr Trump said that this week: “We’re going to have to see what happens”.

The US President has baselessly claimed widespread mail voting would lead to massive fraud, despite the five states that routinely send mail ballots to all voters having seen no significant fraud.

He told reporters on Wednesday: “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”

Mr Trump also took to Twitter to claim: “Democrats are Rigging our 2020 Election!” as he shared a clip of a Fox News interview about mail-in voting.

Donald Trump charges up the crowd while speaking of the need to win the upcoming election during a campaign rally at the Toledo Express Airport (Getty Images)

Top US senator Mitch McConnell and other senior figures in Mr Trump’s Republican Party said they had no hesitation in committing to an orderly transfer if Mr Trump loses.

Mr McConnell responded in a tweet: “The winner of the November 3 election will be inaugurated on January 20.

“There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was “very sad” the president of the US was even raising this question.

She asked: “What would our founders think? Calm down, Mr President.”

Ms Pelosi reminded Mr Trump the US is not North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia or other countries with strongman leaders he openly admires.

“You are in the United States of America, it is a democracy,” she said. “So why don’t you just try for a moment to honour our oath of office to the constitution of the United States?”

The House Speaker added that she has confidence in American voters to cast their votes and choose the president.

Donald Trump launches 2020 re-election campaign – In pictures

1/27

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet supporters at a rally where the president formally announced his 2020 re-election bid

AP

2/27

A supporter holds a placard during a campaign rally for U.S. President Donald Trump formally kicking off his re-election bid in Orlando, Florida

Reuters

3/27

A man holds up a sign as the crowd waits for US President Donald Trump to arrive at a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to officially launch his 2020 campaign

AFP/Getty Images

4/27

Protestors hold up anti President Donald Trump signs during a rally

AP

5/27

White House senior advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner react as U.S. President Donald Trump formally kicks off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida

REUTERS

6/27

A supporter dances to music at a rally where President Donald Trump announced his 2020 re-election bid

AP

7/27

Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives to speak at his re-election kickoff rally

AP

8/27

Kimberly Guilfoyle (right) and Donald Trump Jr. arrive at a rally for US President Donald Trump, to officially launch the Trump 2020 campaign

AFP/Getty Images

9/27

A supporter poses for photo before U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

REUTERS

10/27

US Vice President Mike Pence speaks with US President Donald Trump at a rally to officially launch the Trump 2020 campaign

AFP/Getty Images

11/27

First lady Melania Trump speaks to supporters at a rally where President Donald Trump formally announced his 2020 re-election bid

AP

12/27

A woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty protests against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

13/27

Opposition groups protest against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

14/27

A supporter of US President Donald Trump demonstrates outside the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

AFP/Getty Images

15/27

Supporters of US President Donald Trump hold placards near the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

AFP/Getty Images

16/27

Opposition groups protest against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

17/27

Donald Trump launches his re-election campaign at a rally in Orlando, Florida

Reuters

18/27

Donald Trump greets First Lady Melania Trump as he takes the stage for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

AFP/Getty Images

19/27

Thousands of supporters gathered at the rally

Reuters

20/27

Michael Boulos, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Donald Trump Jr. arrive at a rally for US President Donald Trump, to officially launch the Trump 2020 campaign, at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

AFP/Getty Images

21/27

U.S. President Donald Trump and press secretary Sarah Sanders hug at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

REUTERS

22/27

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando

Reuters

23/27

Protesters attend a rally against US President Donald Trump

AFP/Getty Images

24/27

A woman protests against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

25/27

Members of the Proud Boys face off against anti-Trump protesters outside a rally where President Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

26/27

Opposition groups protest against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

27/27

Opposition groups protest against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

1/27

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet supporters at a rally where the president formally announced his 2020 re-election bid

AP

2/27

A supporter holds a placard during a campaign rally for U.S. President Donald Trump formally kicking off his re-election bid in Orlando, Florida

Reuters

3/27

A man holds up a sign as the crowd waits for US President Donald Trump to arrive at a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to officially launch his 2020 campaign

AFP/Getty Images

4/27

Protestors hold up anti President Donald Trump signs during a rally

AP

5/27

White House senior advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner react as U.S. President Donald Trump formally kicks off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida

REUTERS

6/27

A supporter dances to music at a rally where President Donald Trump announced his 2020 re-election bid

AP

7/27

Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives to speak at his re-election kickoff rally

AP

8/27

Kimberly Guilfoyle (right) and Donald Trump Jr. arrive at a rally for US President Donald Trump, to officially launch the Trump 2020 campaign

AFP/Getty Images

9/27

A supporter poses for photo before U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

REUTERS

10/27

US Vice President Mike Pence speaks with US President Donald Trump at a rally to officially launch the Trump 2020 campaign

AFP/Getty Images

11/27

First lady Melania Trump speaks to supporters at a rally where President Donald Trump formally announced his 2020 re-election bid

AP

12/27

A woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty protests against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

13/27

Opposition groups protest against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

14/27

A supporter of US President Donald Trump demonstrates outside the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

AFP/Getty Images

15/27

Supporters of US President Donald Trump hold placards near the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

AFP/Getty Images

16/27

Opposition groups protest against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

17/27

Donald Trump launches his re-election campaign at a rally in Orlando, Florida

Reuters

18/27

Donald Trump greets First Lady Melania Trump as he takes the stage for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

AFP/Getty Images

19/27

Thousands of supporters gathered at the rally

Reuters

20/27

Michael Boulos, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Donald Trump Jr. arrive at a rally for US President Donald Trump, to officially launch the Trump 2020 campaign, at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

AFP/Getty Images

21/27

U.S. President Donald Trump and press secretary Sarah Sanders hug at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida

REUTERS

22/27

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign kick off rally at the Amway Center in Orlando

Reuters

23/27

Protesters attend a rally against US President Donald Trump

AFP/Getty Images

24/27

A woman protests against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

25/27

Members of the Proud Boys face off against anti-Trump protesters outside a rally where President Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

26/27

Opposition groups protest against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

27/27

Opposition groups protest against President Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign

Getty Images

Few Republican politicians came to the president’s defence.

Instead Senator Lindsey Graham, an ally of Mr Trump and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Fox & Friends on Thursday: “If Republicans lose we will accept the result.

“If the Supreme Court rules in favour of Joe Biden, I will accept that result.”

Congresswoman Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, a member of the House GOP leadership, tweeted: “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.”

Long-time senator Richard Shelby, of Alabama, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, added: “Well, we’ve always had a peaceful transfer of power. That’s one of the hallmarks. And I think this year will be no exception.”

Mr Trump also declined four years ago to commit to honouring the election results if his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, won.

Joe Biden, his current Democratic challenger, was asked about Trump’s comment after landing in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday night.

“What country are we in?” Mr Biden asked incredulously, adding: “I’m being facetious. Look, he says the most irrational things.

“I don’t know what to say about it. But it doesn’t surprise me.”

Olivia Troye: Donald Trump said Covid might be a good thing so he doesn’t have to shake hands with disgusting people

Mr Trump has been pressing a months-long campaign against mail-in voting this November by tweeting and speaking out critically about the practice.

More states are encouraging mail-in voting to keep voters safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The president, who uses mail-in voting himself, has tried to distinguish between states that automatically send mail ballots to all registered voters and those, like Florida, that send them only to voters who request a mail ballot.

Read more

Ohio Congressman Steve Stivers, a former chairman of the House Republican campaign arm, tweeted: “Regardless of how divided our country is right now, when elections are over and winners are declared, we must all commit ourselves to the constitution and accept the results.”

Senator Mitt Romney, one of the lone GOP voices to cross Mr Trump, referred to an electoral crisis in Europe, tweeting: “Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus.

“Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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