Trump Not Ready To Commit To Election Results If He Loses

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President Donald Trump speaks during an event on regulatory reform on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, July 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is refusing to publicly commit to accepting the results of the upcoming White House election, recalling a similar threat he made weeks before the 2016 vote, as he scoffs at polls showing him lagging behind Democrat Joe Biden. Trump says it’s too early to make such an ironclad guarantee.

“I have to see. Look … I have to see,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace during a wide-ranging interview on ”Fox News Sunday.” “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.” The Biden campaign responded: “The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

Trump also hammered the Pentagon brass for favoring renaming bases that honor Confederate military leaders — a drive for change spurred by the national debate about race after George Floyd’s death. “I don’t care what the military says,” the commander in chief said.

The president described the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as a “a little bit of an alarmist” about the coronavirus pandemic, and Trump stuck to what he had said back in February — that the virus is “going to disappear.” On Fox, he said, “I’ll be right eventually.” The United States tops the global death toll list with over 140,000 and confirmed infections, with 3.7 million.

It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process. But for Trump, it comes from his insurgent playbook of four years ago, when in the closing stages of his race against Hillary Clinton, he said he would not commit to honoring the election results if the Democrat won.

Pressed during an October 2016 debate about whether he would abide by the voters’ will, Trump responded that he would “keep you in suspense.” The president’s remarks to Fox are certain to fuel conversation on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers had already been airing concerns in private about a scenario in which Trump disputes the election results.

Trump has seen his presidential popularity erode over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and in the aftermath of nationwide protests centered on racial injustice that erupted after Floyd’s death in Minneapolis nearly two months.

Trump contends that a series of polls that show his popularity eroding and Biden holding an advantage are faulty. He believes Republican voters are underrepresented in such surveys.

“First of all, I’m not losing, because those are fake polls,” Trump said in the taped interview, which aired Sunday. “They were fake in 2016 and now they’re even more fake. The polls were much worse in 2016.”

Trump was frequently combative with Wallace in defending his administration’s response to the pandemic, weighing in on the Black Lives Matter movement and trying to portray Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, as lacking the mental prowess to serve as president.

Among the issues discussed was the push for wholesale changes in policing that has swept across the nation. Trump said he could understand why Black Americans are upset about how police use force disproportionately against them.

“Of course I do. Of course I do,” the president said, adding his usual refrain that “whites are also killed, too.”

He said he was “not offended either by Black Lives Matter,” but at the same time defended the Confederate flag, a symbol of the racism of the past, and said those who “proudly have their Confederate flags, they’re not talking about racism.”

“They love their flag, it represents the South, they like the South. That’s freedom of speech. And you know, the whole thing with ‘cancel culture,’ we can’t cancel our whole history. We can’t forget that the North and the South fought. We have to remember that, otherwise we’ll end up fighting again. You can’t just cancel all,” Trump said.

Wallace challenged Trump on some of his claims and called out the president at time, such as when Trump falsely asserted that “Biden wants to defund the police.” The former vice president has not joined with activists rallying behind that banner. He has proposed more money for police, conditioned to improvements in their practices.

Trump continues to insist that Biden “signed a charter” with one of his primary rivals on the left, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. At one point in the interview, Trump calls on aides to bring him documentation to support his assertion. Trump, however, is unable to point to language from a Biden-Sanders task force policy document released this month by the Biden campaign.

Trump stood behind his pledge to veto a $740 billion defense bill over a requirement that the Defense Department change the names of bases named for Confederate military leaders. That list includes Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort Benning in Georgia.

The president argued there were no viable alternatives if the government ever tried. “We’re going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton?” Trump asked, referring to a prominent civil rights leader. “What are you going to name it?”

Trump, 74, stuck to a campaign charge that Biden, 77, is unable to handle the rigors of the White House because of his age. As for polls showing the incumbent is trailing, Trump noted he was thought to be behind for much of the 2016 contest. “I won’t lose,” he predicted.

The president and top advisors have long accused Biden of using the pandemic as an excuse to stay in “his basement” in his Delaware home. Biden has indeed shifted much of his campaign online, but frequently travels in Delaware and Pennsylvania, organizing speeches and small gatherings with voters and community leaders that are within driving distance of his home. Biden’s campaign says it will begin resuming normal travel and campaign activities, but only when health officials and state and local authorities say it is safe.

Questioned about the coronavirus, Trump chided Fauci, the National Institutes of Health expert, and repeated false claims that anybody could get a test and that increased testing was the only reason that the U.S. was seeing more cases. When Wallace cited criticism about the lack of a national plan to confront the virus, Trump said, “I take responsibility always for everything because it’s ultimately my job, too,” and claimed, “I supplied everybody.”

Case are rising because people are infecting each other more than they were when most everyone was hunkered down. The percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus has been on the rise across nearly the entire country.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. If the interview was anything like the article describes Trump is either lying or totally unaware of facts. If the military leaders have no problem with renaming bases why would Trump take the opposite position? There seems to be something wrong with Trump’s thinking

    • You might want to pick up a copy of the Constitution. The President is commander-in-chief of the army, and the military leaders report to him, not the other way around. They can give their opinion, but in no way is he obligated to accept it.

  2. Funny the democrats still have not conceded the 2016 elections big talkers.

    Now I know what liars like phineas will post. They will copy and paste crooked Hillary concession speech and proclaim hey she conceded. You and I know that was a Shpiel . That was never a real concession. From the Gettgo they disqualified trump and never let him live . Fake concession . And you all know it . So no buba masses.

  3. What a shame. Trump just glosses over the deaths from Corona virus as if it is just numbers. He does not care about the children, the parents, the grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Some die… too bad.

    He has no emotion, no caring, no attempt to reduce the loss of life by bringing down the rate of infection. By doing the job of a leader.

    What a Bxxxard. What a disgusting person.

    • How do you seriously bring down the “ rate of infection “? What would a real leader do?

      Indefinite lock ups ?
      A lock up only procrastinates the inevitable. Israel is a point in hand

    • Isn’t that fascinating, that you’re able to peer into another person’s mind and know that he doesn’t care, etc., without the slightest clue about what he says or does off-camera. I seem to remember, too, that such aloofness in a previous president used to be hailed as statesmanlike.

      Maybe, just maybe, before you start calling people “disgusting,” you look in the mirror first.

  4. Trump in a landslide. They’re using fake polls as a weapon because they have exhausted every other bullet to get him.
    No sane voter is oblivious to Biden’s dementia. Usung Corona as a weapon is equally useless. RIGHT , FOUCHEE 1918 FLU MAD Scientist ??

  5. Dems/media still trying to wrest the presidency away from Trump, these hypocrites.
    Don’t believe these desperate fakers and their rigged polls.
    This president accomplished more in 3 years than any other president despite the evil coup cabal attacking him all day.
    Nobody, but nobody except illegals and radicals and dead people will vote Marxist, anarchist who are heck-bent on destroying the massive middle class.
    Don’t for a second be discouraged by the revving up of desperate shooting attacks by bums, authors, commentator scumbags and their ilk.

  6. The family members of the 140,000 Americans that died from the Corona Virus (by Jan 2021 it will probably be over 200,000) will march in to the oval office and physically remove him.

  7. If he loses, he will pardon himself and his entire staff and leave. He will spend the rest of his life on Fox News talking about how the election was stolen from him. They will egg him on. The frum Jews will abandon him though since he won’t control the government programs most interested in. They will all magically become Democrats.

  8. The Constitution is CLEAR. When a new President us elected the one in office LEAVES. How dare this fascist rasha even dare to ‘suggest’ that he will not leave office? Is this why ‘frum’ Yids voted for him, to become a tyrant autocrat and destroy democratic America? There is NO defense of herr trumpf on this.

    • Putting things in ALL CAPS doesn’t make your arguments any more valid. You’re apparently ignorant of the simple fact that the president doesn’t leave office as soon as the next one is elected; there are two and a half months in between. It’s also a laugh for you to describe him as “destroying democratic America,” when there are actual rioters and looters who are doing that, and when (as other commenters have noted) the Democrats still haven’t accepted the results of the 2016 election, or for that matter of the 2000 one.

  9. There is nothing here about leaving (or not leaving) the White Office. This is about whether he will admit the election was fair. And he can’t possibly know whether an election was fair (or whether it was stolen) before there even is an election.

  10. Simple!! If you’re going to cheat and chas vesholom win , he stays !!
    You tried for almost 4 years , you goons. You failed. Now you’ll cheat ?
    Big , big revolution coming if you dare remove our beloved president.
    Trump for 8 more.

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