With the election less than 40 days away—and top Republicans promising there will be a "orderly transition"—President Trump is still voicing doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election. The New York Times reports that the president, who has accused Democrats of trying to steal the election and declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power Wednesday, doubled down on his position Thursday. "We want to make sure that the election is honest, and I’m not sure that it can be," he told reporters before leaving the White House for a rally in North Carolina. Earlier, he told Fox News Radio that the vote count will be a "horror show" but he would accept a Supreme Court ruling on the election. More:
- "Incredibly corrosive." State election officials say they're worried about the impact of Trump's remarks, the Washington Post reports. "When you have public officials casting doubt on the process, it’s incredibly corrosive,” says Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. "I cannot describe that with enough vehemence. It’s nearly a criminal or treasonous act," the Democrat says. He says he is preparing for possibilities including the spreading of disinformation while voting is underway—or the appearance of armed groups at polling places.
- Senate resolution passed unanimously. A Senate resolution committing to a peaceful transfer of power passed unanimously Thursday, ABC reports. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin called Trump a "real danger to the Constitution."
- GOP senators "dumbfounded." The Hill reports that Senate Republicans were "dumbfounded"—and frustrated—by Trump's remarks. It quotes one senior Republican senator as saying: "The president figured out how to take an overwhelmingly good week and change the subject? Shocking. I don’t know what to say."
- Graham references SCOTUS: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday there would be "a peaceful transfer of power"—even if it comes down to the Supreme Court's decision. "I promise you as a Republican, if the Supreme Court decides that Joe Biden wins, I will accept the result. The court will decide, and if Republicans lose, we’ll accept the result,” he told Fox.
- Markets are rattled. The possibility of " a rapid descent into banana republic-style chaos" has rattled Wall Street, where analysts are bracing for a surge in volatility, Politico reports. “This does have the potential to incite the kinds of protests we’ve seen and the metastasizing of social unrest," says Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney. "And investors would be more inclined to sell first and ask questions later."
- Kaine: Biden will accept "clear outcome." Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine said Thursday that Joe Biden won't challenge the election result unless it is close. "If it's a clear outcome, there is no question," he said. "We could have a murky outcome and then we have to wait and get it to be clear but there is no question that he will accept a clear outcome."
- "Absolutely extraordinary." Analysts say Trump's casting of doubt on the election process has taken the country into uncharted waters. "It’s impossible to underscore how absolutely extraordinary this situation is—there are really no precedents in our country,” American University professor Chris Edelson tells the Times. “This is a president who has threatened to jail his political opponents. Now he is suggesting he would not respect the results of an election. These are serious warning signs.”
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