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McConnell pushes back on Trump: 'There will be an orderly transition'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Democrats float 14th Amendment to bar Trump from office Biden signals he's willing to delay Trump trial MORE (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that there would be an "orderly" transition of power in 2021, after President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report MORE refused to commit to a peaceful handoff of power if he loses in November. 

"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," McConnell said in a tweet.  



Trump set off a political firestorm on Wednesday when he told reporters at the White House, when asked if he would commit to ensuring a peaceful transition of power if he loses in November, that he would have to “see what happens" and tried once again to sow doubt about the security of mail-in ballots. 

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“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” Trump said. “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.”

Trump has declined to commit to accepting the results of the November election, saying he will “have to see.” He's also argued that an increase in mail-in voting leads to fraud in the election, even though experts have repeatedly said there is no evidence tying it to meaningful fraud. 

The comment from McConnell, while not directly criticizing Trump, is notable because the tight-lipped GOP leader frequently refuses to weigh in on the president's remarks, even when they spark backlash from members of his caucus. 

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Other GOP senators predicted on Thursday that there would be a peaceful transition of power, though many did not directly criticize Trump for his remarks.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February MORE (R-S.C.) said during an interview with Fox News that he believed a transition of power next year would be peaceful.

"I can assure it will be peaceful," he said.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio: Biden 'talking like a centrist' but governing 'from the radical left' The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration MORE (R-Fla.), the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told reporters that "my view is, we’re going to have a free, fair and legitimate election in this country.” 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds GOP senators say only a few Republicans will vote to convict Trump For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief MORE (R-Utah) didn't directly mention Trump but called not committing to a peaceful transition "unthinkable and unacceptable." Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseRepublican senators and courage The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it GOP senators say only a few Republicans will vote to convict Trump MORE (R-Neb.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Thursday that "the president says crazy stuff." 

"We've always had a peaceful transition of power. It's not going to change," he added.