The Wall Street Journal editorial board issued a rebuke of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It ‘isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on’ Trump ‘no longer angry’ at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE on Friday, warning his unwillingness to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the November election fuels his opponents’ fantasies of forcing him out of the White House.
Trump on Wednesday was pressed by reporters if he would accept the result of the November election.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said. “I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
He has repeatedly claimed that the integrity of the election could be compromised due to increased mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, stating that the practice will lead to widespread voter fraud.
Outside of a few instances with a small number of ballots in some states, there is no evidence that vote-by-mail systems lead to widespread voter fraud.
The Journal’s editorial board slammed the president’s remarks, calling them “preposterous” and noting that, “on Jan. 20 his term legally ends.”
“The media and intelligentsia have worked themselves into a frenzy over imaginary fears that Mr. Trump will somehow remain in office by force if he loses the 2020 election,” the editorial read.
“Start with the obvious: The notion that Mr. Trump could stop a peaceful transition of power is preposterous. On Jan. 20 his term legally ends. If Congress hasn’t certified an Electoral College winner on that date—or settled a tie— Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It ‘isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on’ On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Trump signs largely symbolic pre-existing conditions order amid lawsuit MORE will be President if she is still House Speaker.”
The paper went on to assert that if Trump tried to remain in office after Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It ‘isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on’ Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Fox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio MORE had been certified the winner, his actions would diminish his political support.
“GOP House and Senate leaders have already repudiated Mr. Trump’s remarks. If he tried to remain after Joe Biden was certified as the winner, his political support would collapse.”
Several Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump ‘no longer angry’ at Romney because of Supreme Court stance On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power MORE (Ky.), have stated that there will be an “orderly” transition of power in 2021 following Trump’s remarks.
The Senate on Thursday passed a resolution reaffirming its support for the peaceful transition of power with unanimous consent.
The Journal said the president made a mistake in making the comments, arguing that his remarks have fueled Democrats’ “destructive ideas.”
“The sad reality is that Democratic opinion leaders have been waiting for a Reichstag fire moment from the minute Mr. Trump took office,” the paper said.
“Their thirst to be vindicated has grown more intense as his term draws to a close. Perhaps they want to save face after misunderstanding their country and its citizens so fundamentally for four years. Mr. Trump should stop fueling their destructive ideas, because the legitimacy of election results is the bedrock of American democracy.”
Democrats have knocked Trump’s unwillingness to commit to a peaceful transition of power, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying Thursday that it’s sad that the question has to be asked.
“We want a peaceful transfer of power,” Pelosi said at a press conference when asked about Trump’s remarks. “It’s very sad that you even have to ask that question.”