Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday said President Trump will leave office if he’s defeated Nov. 3 by Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
“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,” McConnell (R-Ky.) tweeted.
McConnell weighed in as Democrats expressed horror at Trump’s apparent refusal to commit at a Wednesday night press briefing to a peaceful transition of power. Trump said he intends to win.
Within an hour of McConnell’s tweet, Trump told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on his radio show that he does intend to leave office if Biden wins, but that he expects the Supreme Court to decide the outcome due to possible problems with mail-in ballots.
Kilmeade asked Trump: “If it gets to the Supreme Court and they decide Joe Biden won, Joe Biden won. Do you agree with that?”
“Oh, that I would agree with but I think we have a long way before we get there. These ballots are a horror show,” Trump replied.
Trump’s initial response Wednesday night was in response to a question from Playboy reporter Brian Karem, who asked the president to “commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transferal of power.”
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster,” Trump said.
When Karem asked his question again at the press conference, Trump said: “We want to have — get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans- — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation.”
Trump told Kilmeade he felt that he was being subjected to an unfair double standard in coverage of the remarks.
“Well, remember crooked Hilary Clinton a week ago, she said to Joe Biden, ‘don’t concede under any circumstances, do not concede under any — never concede,’ OK? Now, nobody does a story about that, right?” the president said.
Other Republicans echoed that point.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters, “What he says doesn’t matter any more than what Hillary Clinton advised Biden to do: don’t concede the election. So it seems to me there’s a feeling on both sides that somehow the Constitution doesn’t apply. But the Constitution does apply.”