A number of prominent Republican lawmakers have condemned President Trump's refusal on Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's presidential election.
Driving the news: Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the House's #3 Republican, tweeted, "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."
Other prominent Republicans who spoke out against Trump's statement:
- Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah): "Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus. Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable."
- Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.): "As we have done for over two centuries we will have a legitimate & fair election It may take longer than usual to know the outcome, but it will be a valid one And at noon on Jan 20,2021 we will peacefully swear in the President."
- Rep. Steve Stivers (Ohio), the former chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee: "Nothing defines our Constitutional Republic more than the peaceful transition of power. I’ve taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and I will uphold that oath."
Worth noting: None of the statements issued so far directly mention Trump by name.
The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud.
- Trump also said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the the court may have to decide the result of the election.
The other side: Some Trump-friendly Republicans also stepped in to defend the president's comments — or deflect them toward other topics.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) told "Fox & Friends" that he "can assure" there will be a peaceful transition of power, adding that "if the Republicans lose we will accept that result" — without directly addressing Trump's statements.
- Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) responded to Cheney's tweet: "Now do the Russia hoax."