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McConnell Takes Time Away from Packing Supreme Court to Insist on Orderly Transition for Next President

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McConnell Takes Time Away from Packing Supreme Court to Insist on Orderly Transition for Next President

2020-09-25 18:24:46

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Mitch McConnell (Image source: Screenshot)

It may seem as though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is sitting in Donald Trump's back pocket, waiting to help him pack the Supreme Court with conservatives — and anything else the president wants. However, he does have his breaking point. The senator is insisting there will be a smooth transition should Trump lose the election in November.

McConnell said Thursday there would be an "orderly" transition of power in January after Trump refused to commit to peacefully handing over the presidency if he loses to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

"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 McConnell.

Trump had all tongues wagging after he was asked if he would commit to ensuring a peaceful transition if he loses and replied that he would have to "see what happens" and once again tried to put a question mark in everyone's minds regarding mail-in ballots.

"Get rid of the ballots, and you'll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation," insisted the president. "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."

McConnell rarely rocks the boat. He usually goes along with Trump and remains tightlipped at other times. His comments Thursday were definitely a departure for him.

Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an ally of Trump's throughout the last four years, said in a Fox News interview that he believes a transition of power in January would be peaceful. "I can assure it will be peaceful," he said.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senate Intelligence Chair, said, "My view is, we're going to have a free, fair, and legitimate election in this country."

He also tweeted on this topic. "As we have done for over two centuries, we will have a legitimate and fair election," he wrote. "It may take longer than usual to know the outcome, but it will be a valid one. And at noon on January 20, 2021, we will peacefully swear in the president."

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is known to go against Trump often. He didn't mention him in his comment but tweeted, "Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus." He added, "Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable."

Senate Intelligence Committee member Ben Sasse (R-NE) told CNN that "the president says crazy stuff." He also noted that "we've always had a peaceful transition of power. It's not going to change."

Sen. Rick Scott (R-F) told reporters he had no concerns, as he is "very comfortable there will be a peaceful transition of power."

The highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) tweeted, "The peaceful transfer of power is enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic." She vowed, "America's leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath."

"The peaceful transfer of power is enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic," she continued. "America's leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath."

Some GOP preferred to point fingers back at the Democrats when remembering former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. She urged Biden to not concede to Trump "under any circumstances" because she thinks the election results are "going to drag out" because of the mail-in ballots.

"I would have the same concern when Hillary Clinton advised Biden not to concede the election," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-A) told reporters. "We have a Constitution, and the Constitution says when the presidency ends — it isn't very good advice from Hillary Clinton to advise Biden about that.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) remarked that it was "no surprise" to hear Trump say that and that it was "very sad" that reporters felt the need to inquire about the scenario.

"I remind him, you are not in North Korea. You are not in Turkey. You are not in Russia, Mr. President," the speaker said at a press conference. "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?" she questioned.

"There is no question he means exactly what he said. And people fail to take it seriously at our national peril," said House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Rachel Maddow's show Wednesday night.

"I think the Biden campaign, and certainly those of us in Congress, are making every effort to push back, to prepare for these contingencies, to be ready to be engaged to save our democracy if and when the president seeks to throw out the ballots, get rid of the ballots as he was saying, and if Republican operatives around the country start to try to seek electors notwithstanding the popular vote in those states," continued Schiff. 

Biden was asked about Trump's comments as well. "What country are we in?" he inquired. "He says the most irrational things." The former vice president then added, "I don't know what to say to that. It doesn't surprise me."


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