Pelosi predicts Trump would accept election results if he loses, but says 'be prepared for everything'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel Pelosi taps Kinzinger to serve on Jan. 6 panel MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she believes President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE would accept the election results if he loses to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Republican calls second bout of COVID-19 'far more challenging' Conflicting school mask guidance sparks confusion Biden: Pathway to citizenship in reconciliation package 'remains to be seen' MORE in November, but added that Democrats should "be prepared for everything."

Pelosi said that the ideal situation for Democrats would be to win the presidential election by a wide margin that would make it more difficult to contest.

When asked during a livestreamed interview with The Washington Post's Robert Costa if she is concerned President Trump will challenge the results of the presidential election and refuse to concede if he loses, Pelosi replied, “No. I don’t think so. But just to be prepared, I would say just win big because he will try to question the certification of this or that." 

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"I think that he would respect the results of an election. And even if he didn't, then the henchmen around him would understand that he would have to respect the results of the election," Pelosi continued. 

At the same time, Pelosi didn't completely rule out the possibility that Democrats could encounter such a scenario of the incumbent president refusing to leave office.

"I believe that he would understand the office that he holds requires him to step aside. Having said that, be prepared for everything. Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst," Pelosi said. 

Biden acknowledged earlier this month during an interview on "The Daily Show with Trevor NoahTrevor Noah'Daily Show' pledges 'brand new look and feel' when it returns from summer hiatus Amazon takes big step in e-book deal with libraries, but activists seek more Ted Cruz, Trevor Noah get into Twitter spat: 'I remember when the Daily Show was funny' MORE" that he has considered the possibility of Trump refusing to concede. But he said that he is "absolutely convinced" that military officers would "escort him from the White House with great dispatch" if that happened. 

A Trump campaign spokesman said at the time that "President Trump has been clear that he will accept the results of the 2020 election."

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Trump has been trailing Biden by double digits in recent polls amid voter disapproval of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice.

Democrats' fears that Trump would sow doubt in the election results have been rooted in the president's sustained criticism of mail-in ballots in recent months.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in ballots are at risk of fraud, despite scarce evidence. Trump himself also voted by mail in Florida's primary earlier this year. 

"RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!" Trump tweeted Monday. 

And after Trump won the 2016 election by securing a majority in the Electoral College, despite losing the popular vote to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Shontel Brown gaining ground against Nina Turner in Ohio: poll Biden hits trail for McAuliffe in test of his political brand MORE, he claimed without evidence that 3 million to 5 million illegal votes had been cast.

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"I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," Trump tweeted in late November 2016.