President Donald Trump caused an uproar on Twitter when he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of presidential power if he loses the upcoming November election.
Outrage and dismay ensued on Twitter as many frustrated users took to the platform with their thoughts of Trump’s presumed plan. Many Twitter users noted just how alarming Trump’s blatant threat is as others expressed concern about the weeks ahead.
“Donald Trump rambles incoherently but his message is clear: he will not respect the voters’ will and will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough tweeted. “So, who arrests Trump and the attorney general if they attempt to steal an election and commit treason?”
Donald Trump rambles incoherently but his message is clear: he will not respect the voters’ will and will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power. So who arrests Trump and the attorney general if they attempt to steal an election and commit treason? https://t.co/Lzz1D6va0Q
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) September 23, 2020
Others criticized Trump’s supporters for turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to his threats and actions as he continues to chip away at the United States’ democracy at risk.
Every American who supports Trump should never be allowed to forget what just happened on that stage. After all the offenses against the nation and the Constitution, he refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. If you support this man, you cannot call yourself a patriot.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) September 23, 2020
What we face now is much more serious than Watergate. Nixon, for all his flaws, was a conservative who abided by norms. Trump is not and does not. Senate Republicans in 1974 stood up to the president when he crossed the line. The same cannot be said today. https://t.co/9LHHxvdJV9
— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) September 24, 2020
Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses —-it’s likely that Trump will lose both the popular vote and the Electoral College. He is announcing his renunciation of democracy. He is signaling violence. https://t.co/2cH1RNnrFh
— Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) September 24, 2020
The Twitter chaos came shortly after Trump’s press conference on Wednesday. As footage of it began circulating that evening, Twitter users began weighing in with their reactions and concerns about his insinuation. To many people, Trump not only refused to commit to upholding one of the prominent staples of the U.S. Constitution, but he also offered a chilling foreboding of the chaos he will create with his newly-revealed strategy to sabotage the election.
White House correspondent Brian Karem noted the civil unrest still erupting in parts of the country as he asked Trump if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power for the sake of maintaining order across the nation in the event he loses the election to the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
He even went so far to say, “We want to get rid of the ballots, and we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”
Trump when asked if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses: "We're gonna have to see what happens."
Trump when pressed again to answer: "Get rid of the ballots, we'll have a very peaceful transfer."
A disqualifying statement.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) September 23, 2020
The president’s latter remarks signal that he has no intent on a peaceful transfer of power, let alone any transfer of power at all. Based on his remarks, it appears he is looking for a defense to argue the results of the election from every angle, making it clear he has no plans to abdicate his office even if he loses the election.