During an NBC News town hall on Thursday — available on YouTube — Donald Trump claimed he would move forward with a peaceful transfer of power after the election.
“The answer is yes I will,” he said after Savannah Guthrie pressed him on the issue. “But I want it to be an honest election. And so does everybody else.”
Nevertheless, Trump claimed that there are “thousands of unsolicited ballots” being provided “by the millions” due to increased vote-by-mail efforts and suggested that rampant election cheating is a significant issue in the forthcoming election — against the claims of many experts. He also pushed back on Guthrie’s claim that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and suggested that “corrupt” and “fraudulent” votes are a significant threat to the upcoming election.
Notably, Guthrie highlighted that Trump’s appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray said there is no evidence of widespread fraud linked to the mail-in voting process that Republicans have been taking aim at in recent months. She also accused Trump of “laying the groundwork” for a contested election, to which Trump said he was not.
“I want it to be clean — I really feel like we’re gonna win,” he said.
“But peaceful transfer, I absolutely want that. But I don’t wanna transfer, because I wanna win.”
Trump has received pushback for previously refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. As reported by CBC News, he was pressed on the issue during a press conference last month and refused to commit to the process.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” he said. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
U.S. President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One prior to his departure for a campaign event in Battle Creek, Michigan, December 18, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson / Getty Images
The comments received backlash from both Democrats and Republicans. After the remarks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the winner of November’s election will be inaugurated on January 20th and said there would be an “orderly transition” — as there has been in the United States’ past elections.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump doubled down on his comments one day later and told reporters that ballot voting is susceptible to rampant vote-by-mail fraud, which he suggested would cast doubt on the results of the upcoming election.
According to CBC News, it’s “highly unusual” for a sitting president to express distrust in America’s democratic process.
Trump has fueled worries about his commitment to transferring power by joking about refusing to do so. He previously said he would not leave office for up to 29 years, when he teaches the age of 102.