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Pelosi knocks Trump over refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power

Pelosi knocks Trump over refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Following debate, Biden hammers Trump on coronavirus | Study: Universal mask-wearing could save 130,000 lives | Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight On The Money: Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight | Landlords, housing industry sue CDC to overturn eviction ban Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight MORE (D-Calif.) tore into President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE Thursday after he declined the day before to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the presidential election in November. 

“We want a peaceful transfer of power,” Pelosi said at a press conference when asked about Trump’s remarks. “It’s very sad that you even have to ask that question.”

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Trump raised eyebrows by casting doubt over whether he would peacefully relinquish his post if he were to lose this November to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE, the Democratic presidential nominee.

“We’re going to have to see what happens, you know, but I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster,” Trump told reporters when asked if he would commit to making sure there is a peaceful transition.

“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” he added. “The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.” 

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Trump has in the past also refused to commit to leaving office, previously saying he will “have to see.”

Pelosi said she was not surprised by his remarks, saying he’s “been contemptible of …governance” during his time in office, and noting Trump’s past praise for dictators across the world. 

“We do know who he admires. He admires [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, he admires Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnOvernight Defense: Biden nets military family endorsements | Final debate features North Korea exchange | Judge refuses to dismiss sexual assault case against top general Biden: Obama wouldn't 'legitimize' North Korea with meeting How Trump and Biden contrast on foreign policy MORE, he admires [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan in Turkey,” she said, listing off autocrats Trump has applauded in the past. “But I remind hm, you are not in North Korea, you are not in Turkey, you are not in Russia, Mr. President — and by the way, you are not in Saudi Arabia. You are in the United States of America, it is a democracy, so why don’t you just try for a moment to honor your oath of office, to the Constitution of the United States?”

Trump has made several comments in recent months looking to cast doubt on the upcoming election, most prominently by leveling false claims about widespread voter fraud with mail-in ballots.

Several GOP lawmakers distanced themselves from Trump’s remarks Thursday, expressing confidence that the victor after Election Day would serve as president.

“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,” tweeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Following debate, Biden hammers Trump on coronavirus | Study: Universal mask-wearing could save 130,000 lives | Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight On The Money: Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight | Landlords, housing industry sue CDC to overturn eviction ban Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight MORE (R-Ky.).

When asked if the House would consider voting on a censure resolution against Trump over the remarks or look to impose some other kind of rebuke, Pelosi poured cold water on the prospect but urged Americans to vote in the final sprint to November.

“I don’t think he’s worth the trouble at this point. We have 40 days until the election,” she said. “The answer to it all, the antidote to almost every ailment that I have made, is the vote. So right now, our point is, it’s no use our orchestrating one thing or another when what really matters in terms of the peaceful transfer of power is that people vote and that their vote is counted as cast.”