Schumer calls Trump ‘gravest threat to democracy’ for response to transfer of power question

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Thursday morning that the biggest threat to American democracy does not come from abroad, but from the White House.

Schumer spoke about how after a reporter asked President Trump if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power, Trump said, “We’re going to have to see what happens,” citing concerns about mail-in ballots and voter fraud. But Schumer did not view Trump’s words in that context.

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“Get rid of voting, get rid of the ballots, just let him stay in power for whatever illicit way he chooses to do so. That’s what he’s saying,” Schumer claimed.

“Now everyone, from schoolchildren to the most senior among us know that the peaceful transfer of power is one of democracy’s core attributes,” he continued. “There is no democracy without it.”

“The gravest threat to American democracy right now is President Donald Trump,” he added.

Schumer then condemned Republicans for not opposing Trump and called on them to “stand in the way” of Trump if he tries to stay in office after losing the election.

Acknowledging that Trump’s remarks could be interpreted differently, Schumer said that his words were troubling no matter what.

“The most innocent interpretation of the president’s comments is he’s just trying to get people not to vote,” he claimed.

Schumer added: “It doesn’t matter how corrosive it is to our democracy, the president doesn’t care. It’s his own ego and nothing else. The president says it if he thinks it’ll help him win. And that’s the most innocent interpretation.”

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The minority leader then citied an Atlantic report that said Republicans were looking to possibly ignore Election Day results and send “loyal electors” to vote for Trump in battleground states.

“President Trump you are not a dictator and America will not permit you to be one,” Schumer said, adding that “the votes will be counted” and “the results of the election must be accepted.”

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meanwhile, assured the public that the election and inauguration processes will take place the same way they always have.

“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th,” McConnell tweeted. “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”

Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.

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