Former Democratic party presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told HBO host Bill Maher Friday night that if President “Trump attempts to stay in office after losing, there will be a number of plans out there to make sure that he is evicted from office.” Sanders did not get into specifics.
President Trump stirred up controversy at a press conference Wednesday by refusing to flat out say he will concede defeat (a similar tactic he took in 2016), instead repeating his concerns about mass mail-in voting (“ballots”).
Q Mr. President, real quickly: Win, lose, or draw in this election, will you commit here, today, for a peaceful transferal of power after the election? And there has been rioting in Louisville. There’s been rioting in many cities across this country — red and — your so-called red and blue states. Will you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transferal of power after the election?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, 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. And — and —
Q I understand that, but people are rioting. Do you commit to making sure that —
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I know. I know. Yeah, no, we want —
Q — there’s a peaceful transferal of power?
THE PRESIDENT: We want to have — get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans- — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation.
The ballots are out of control. You know it. And you know who knows it better than —
Q No, sir. I don’t know that.
THE PRESIDENT: — anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else.
Q No, sir. Mr. President, the second question is, will you also —
Q Thank you. Will you —
THE PRESIDENT: Please, go ahead. Please, go ahead.
Q Why won’t you commit — why won’t you —
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Thursday that Trump will concede defeat in a “free and fair election”.
Q Yeah, Kayleigh, I’m wondering if you can just clean up or clarify something the President said yesterday. If he loses this election, can you assure us that there will be a peaceful transfer of power?
MS. MCENANY: You are referring to the question asked by the Playboy reporter, right?
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Q I’m referring to — with the President being asked if there would be a peaceful transfer of power, and he did not say yes.
MS. MCENANY: Yeah, I believe —
Q So I’m asking you: Will there be a peaceful transfer of power if he loses this election?
MS. MCENANY: I believe that question asked by the Playboy (inaudible) — in fact, I think I have it right here. He was asked —
Q I’m asking this question.
MS. MCENANY: He was asked — “win, lose, or draw” — whether he would accept the transfer of power. I’m not entirely sure, if he won, why he would accept a transfer of power. That is maybe the deranged wish of that reporter, but that’s not how governing works.
Q But I’m asking a very direct and very simple question. If the President loses this election, will this White House, will this President assure us that there will be a peaceful transfer of power? It’s a very simple question. We’ve been doing it since 1800.
MS. MCENANY: The President will accept the results of a free and fair election.
But I think that your question is more fitting to be asked of Democrats who have already been on the record saying they won’t accept the results of an election.
In fact, I have several of them here for you. South Carolina Democrat Jim Clyburn has said that Trump “is not going to win fairly.” Senator Barbara Boxer has said that the only way Trump will win is to “steal it.” That’s according to Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer.
The Washington Post has noted — they have a headline: “Democrats may not trust the results of the election if Trump wins.”
And then you have that beautiful quote from Hillary Clinton that “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstance.”
So I think your fitting is more ques- — more a fitting — a fitting question for Democrats.
Q Kayleigh, just to understand this clearly: Are the results legitimate only if the President wins?
MS. MCENANY: The President will accept the results of a free and fair election. He will accept the will of the American people.
Q So, for clarity, if he loses and it’s free and fair, he will accept that?
MS. MCENANY: I’ve answered your question. He will accept the results of a free and fair election.
Trump said at a rally in Newport News, Virginia Friday night he will turn over power should he lose a “fair election”:
"We've gotta watch this ballot scam, because they're scamming us. And then they say, 'he doesn't want to turn over [power].' Of course I do. But it's gotta be a fair election." — Trump pic.twitter.com/4DCQEKKszc
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 26, 2020