In response to a question, the president complained about mail-in ballots and said: “There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.”
President Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the results of November’s election — something no other modern president has put in doubt — led several prominent Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, to insist Thursday that there would be a peaceful transfer of power in January. But they stopped short of directly criticizing the president.
“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th,” Mr. McConnell wrote on Twitter. “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”
Mr. McConnell did not mention Mr. Trump in his comments, and he refused to elaborate on them. But his tweet was in response to the president’s comment on Wednesday, when a reporter asked if he would commit to a peaceful transition, that “We’re going to have to see what happens.”
Mr. Trump went on to question the integrity of “the ballots” — apparently referring to mail-in voting, which he has falsely called rife with fraud — and added that if he were able to “get rid of” the ballots and ensure a “continuation” rather than a “transfer,” it would be peaceful.
The peaceful transfer of power, and accepting the results of an election, are fundamentals of democracy.