Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Wednesday night that “Republicans of good conscience” in the Trump administration should resign over President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.
When asked about committing to a peaceful transfer of power during a press conference earlier, Trump responded, “We will have to see what happens. You know that. I have been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
Anchor Rachel Maddow said, “As a rule, I don’t cover statements by the president unless they are linked to actions by the president because he says a lot of things that come to not and design kind of rise out of people and turn the news cycle to his advantage. It strikes me that this remark tonight that the election is fraudulent and there will now be a transfer of power and that those are something different that this sort of crosses the line into words of action. This is essentially the president in new territory in terms of his threat to democracy.”
Schiff said, “You are absolutely right to focus tonight on his words as well as his deeds. They do cross a very bright line. And over the course of this presidency, some of his supporters have been writeoff his remarks well that is just Trump being Trump, or clearly, he was joking. There is no question that he means exactly what he said. People fail to take it seriously at our national peril.”
He continued, “This is a moment that I would say to any Republican of good conscience working in the administration, it is time for you to resign. It is time for you to resign. If you have been debating about whether you can continue to serve the country by serving this president, you can’t. It is time to resign. I would say to those who have been on the sidelines maintaining a dignified silence who have served in the administration in the past. You cannot maintain your silence any longer. You have to maintain dignified speech now. You have to speak out. Do not wait until after the election, do not wait until we have the chaos the president wants after the election when he seeks to, as he said, get rid of the ballots. Because if you do wait and knowing what is to come, you will share some of the burden and responsibility for the chaos that comes.”
He added, “So this is a time for all good people conscious to speak, act and preserve our democracy. There is no longer any question of this president’s intentions. His intentions are as clear as the writing on the wall. I am glad you are spending time focusing on this because I think no one will be able to say they did not see this coming when he so clearly telegraphed his intent now.”
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