Trump Does Not Commit to Peaceful Transition of Power

Trump says he cannot guarantee a peaceful transition of power if he loses the November election. What happened?


In a press conference on Wednesday, a reporter asked President Trump if he could commit to a peaceful transfer of power in the event that he did not win the presidential election in November. The president responded, “We’re going to have to see what happens.”

  • President Trump has been openly skeptical of the integrity of the November election in the past, alleging that mail-in voting could lead election results to be misconstrued. He doubled down on this skepticism on Thursday, saying that he was unsure that the election would be “honest.”
  • He went on to say that he will assuredly win the election if mail-in voting is eliminated, a move that has been blocked by Democrats in the midst of the pandemic, and predicted that the outcome of the election will be decided ultimately in the Supreme Court.
  • The following day, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McNenany said that the president would “accept the results of a free and fair election.”
  • The Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday which vowed to ensure a peaceful transition of power on Inauguration day regardless of who wins the election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted his support for the resolution on Thursday morning.
  • Numerous congresspeople denounced the President’s statement, including Republican senators and representatives who dismissed his claim and reassured Americans that a peaceful transition would happen.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Portrays President Trump as dangerous and erratic for insinuating that he would refuse to leave office, and plays out the hypothetical narrative that he does refuse to leave the office. The analysis generally concurs that, if the President refuses to acknowledge the outcome of the election, democracy will crumble.
  • Highlights the narrative that he is losing backing from the GOP and his own supporters.
  • Labels Trump’s claims that the election results will be questionable as baseless.
  • Generally uses inflammatory language to imply that Trump seeks to actively resist democratic processes, saying that this situation is what America’s founders hoped to avoid.
  • Portrays Trump as immature and cocky by focusing on the narrative that Trump genuinely doesn’t think he will lose the election.



  • Implies that Trump is anti-American for disrespecting the democratic channels upon which the country was founded, and points out that White House Officials walked back Trump’s statements.
  • Shifts focus to the many right-wing politicians who condemn the statements and glorifies them for committing to a peaceful transition.
  • Reminds readers that one easy way to ensure a free and fair election is to swiftly appoint a ninth Supreme Court justice.
  • Argues that Trump did not really mean what he said and that the left is overreacting to the comments by amplifying them in a misleading way.
  • Continues coverage of mail-in voting, and implies that Americans are not out of the woods yet in terms of ensuring a free and fair election.


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© Evelyn Torsher, 2020