President Trump on Wednesday refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election in November, saying he needs to “see what happens,” sowing doubt about the security of mail-in ballots.
“We’re going to have to see what happens, you know, but I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing when asked if he would commit to making sure there is a peaceful transition of power.
When pressed, Trump said there would be no need for a transition of power without mail-in ballots, suggesting he believes he would win the election without the expansion of mail-in voting during the pandemic.
“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” Trump said. “The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.”
Trump has previously declined to commit to accepting the results of the November election, saying he will “have to see.”
Trump has repeatedly leveled claims about expanded mail-in voting inviting massive fraud into the election, though experts say that there is no evidence of meaningful fraud in vote by mail. Critics view the president’s statements as part of an effort to preemptively cast doubt on the election results should he lose.
Trump is currently trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden nationally by 10 points, according to a pair of polls released on Wednesday. Surveys showed tight races in a number of key battleground states.