Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on Thursday stressed the importance of a peaceful transfer of power after President Donald Trump declined Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transfer to Democrat Joe Biden if he loses in November.
“That’s something I’ve talked about in speeches from my very first days when Nancy Pelosi peacefully handed the gavel over to John Boehner,” Gardner said when asked to comment on Trump’s statement. “It’s a hallmark of our democracy. And I’ve spoken at length about it in the past about the continued need to use that as a symbol of democracy,” according to a pool report from Washington, D.C.
Trump said four years ago he wouldn’t necessarily honor a Hillary Clinton victory, and he’s repeating that threat now.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said in response to a question at a news conference. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.
“You’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer frankly. There’ll be a continuation,” Trump continued. “The ballots are out of control, you know it, and you know, who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else.”
Trump is also laying groundwork to question the legal legitimacy of the election, according to national reports, stating that it’s important for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s U.S. Supreme Court seat to be filled promptly so that there can be nine justices to evaluate potential lawsuits related to mailed ballots.
On this front, Gardner is not opposing Trump. Contradicting his own 2016 stance, the senator has said he will vote to confirm a “qualified” nominee to the court, a vote that could have profound impact on whether there is any need to transfer power next year.
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