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

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE would accept the election results if he loses to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins 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." 

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 NoahFauci: 'Divisive nature' in US hampering coronavirus response Ted Cruz: 'Many liberal males never grow balls' Overnight Defense: House chair announces contempt proceeding against Pompeo | Top general says military has no role in election disputes | Appeal court rejects due process rights for Gitmo detainees 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

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 ClintonThe Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close MORE, he claimed without evidence that 3 million to 5 million illegal votes had been cast.

ADVERTISEMENT

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