Republicans condemn Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power

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A number of prominent Republican lawmakers addressed President Trump's refusal on Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's presidential election.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted, "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."

Other prominent Republicans who spoke out against Trump's statement:

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah): "Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus. Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable."
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.): "As we have done for over two centuries we will have a legitimate & fair election It may take longer than usual to know the outcome, but it will be a valid one And at noon on Jan 20, 2021 we will peacefully swear in the President."
  • Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the House's No. 3 Republican: "The peaceful transfer of power is enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic. America’s leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath."
  • Rep. Steve Stivers (Ohio), the former chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee: "Nothing defines our Constitutional Republic more than the peaceful transition of power. I've taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and I will uphold that oath."
  • Rep. John Katko (N.Y.): "[T]he importance of the transition of power to our democracy is larger than any one President and any one election. I will not hesitate to fulfill my responsibility in upholding my oath to the Constitution and protecting our democracy."

Worth noting: None of the statements issued so far directly mention Trump by name.

The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud.

  • Trump also said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the the court may have to decide the result of the election.

The other side: Other Republicans also stepped in to dismiss the president's comments — or deflect them.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) told "Fox & Friends" that he "can assure" there will be a peaceful transition of power, adding that "if the Republicans lose we will accept that result" — without directly addressing Trump's statements.
  • Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.), per Politico's Andrew Desiderio: "He says crazy stuff. We’ve always had a peaceful transition of power. It’s not going to change."
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) responded to Cheney's tweet: "Now do the Russia hoax."

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