Top Republicans split with Trump on peaceful transfer of power
WASHINGTON: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell joined other Republican lawmakers in rallying to the defence of constitutional government yesterday, after President Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power following the Nov 3 election.
"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," Mr McConnell wrote in a tweet.
Several other lawmakers came out strongly in favour of a peaceful transition of power following the Republican president's comments on Wednesday, though none criticised him directly.
"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," Representative Liz Cheney, who leads the House of Representatives Republican Conference, wrote on Twitter.
Senator Marco Rubio, a former Republican presidential candidate, asserted that the upcoming election contest between Mr Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will be legitimate, fair and in line with more than two centuries of American practice.
"It may take longer than usual to know the outcome, but it will be a valid one," Mr Rubio wrote on Twitter.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump, responding to a reporter's question, refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose in November, and said he expected the election battle to end up before the Supreme Court.
"We're going to have to see what happens," he told reporters.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who is overseeing the process to weigh the president's forthcoming Supreme Court nominee, said he expected a peaceful transition.
"I can assure you it will be peaceful," Mr Graham told Fox News. - REUTERS