After harshly criticized statements by US President Donald Trump, the leader of the majority of conservatives in the Senate has promised an orderly transfer of power should the incumbent president lose the presidential election.
“The winner of the Nov. 3 election will take office on Jan. 20,” Mitch McConnell, one of Trump’s most influential Republican politicians, wrote on Twitter Thursday.
“There will be an orderly transition, like every four years since 1792.” In 1792, the first US president, George Washington, was reelected to a second term.
Trump declined on Wednesday to promise a peaceful transfer of power in just under six weeks in the event of an election defeat. In response to a reporter’s question, the right-wing populist simply said, “We’ll see what happens.” Then he added: “There will be no transfer, there will be a follow-up.”
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The statements caused outrage among the opposition Democrats, as well as some Republicans. The fact that an American president refuses to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power if he is voted out is an unprecedented process.
The latest Trump in polls has said repeatedly that he could only lose the election through massive fraud in postal ballots.
The president has long questioned the reliability of postal voting and describes it as very sensitive to manipulation, although experts strongly disagree.
Critics accuse Trump of laying the groundwork for not recognizing a possible election defeat on Nov. 3. Polls have seen the seated person behind his challenger Joe Biden for weeks. (AFP)