The US President refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden on Thursday. Mr Trump’s comments have seen Republican officials outraged, with some high ranking members asserting the election result will be accepted regardless of the result. Mr Trump has played up suggestions the US election could be rigged against him by China and the Democrats.
The President was asked in a press conference whether he would accept the result of the election “win, lose or draw”, which he refused to confirm.
He said on Thursday at the White House: “Well, we’ll have to see what happens. You know that.”
Mr Trump then complained again mail-in ballots, which he called a “disaster” and claimed would make the election result unclear.
He added: “Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very – you’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.”
The comments saw GOP officials rally against the President to dismiss concerns of no peaceful transition of power.
Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate majority leader, took to Twitter to assure voters there will be an “orderly transition”.
He said: “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.”
Mitt Romney, Republican nominee for President in 2012 and frequent critic of Mr Trump, also lashed out against the President.
Also taking to Twitter, he said: “Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus.
“Any suggestion that a president might not accept this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”
He also told reporters on Capitol Hill “there’s no questions” Republicans would ensure Mr Trump left office if he lost the election, and said he doesn’t believe there is “any scenario” where the President would not peacefully step aside.
Mr Trump threatened to contest the result of the 2016 election, which then-Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton described as an attack on democracy.
Mr Biden has described the President’s comments as “irrational” and previously floated ideas the military would have to remove Mr Trump from the White House.
Last month, Mrs Clinton urged Mr Biden this time not to concede defeat “under any circumstances” in a close race on election night.
She raised the scenario that Republicans would try “messing up absentee balloting” and mobilise an army of lawyers to contest the result.