Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) dismissed the claim that President Donald Trump would not adhere to the results of the 2020 presidential election, adding that he was confident Trump would participate in a peaceful transfer of power in 2025 when his second term was up.
Cotton also told host Jake Tapper it was Democrats that he should be concerned about on acceptance of election results.
Partial transcript as follows:
TAPPER: President Trump repeatedly declined this week to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he should lose in November. I want to play our viewers what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Will you commit to making sure that there’s a peaceful transferal of power after the election?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that.
QUESTION: Will you commit to making sure that there’s a peaceful transferal of power?
TRUMP: We want to have — we have to have — get rid of the ballots, and you will have a very — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Now, that alarmed a lot of Republicans, as you know, and Democrats too.
The number three Republican in the House, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, with whom you agree on a lot of issues, she called the peaceful transfer of power — quote — “fundamental to the survival of our republic” and said — quote — “America’s leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath.”
Do you agree with Congresswoman Cheney?
COTTON: Yes, Jake, we have been transferring the office of the presidency from one person to the next since 1796.
I’m confident it’s going to happen again in January 2025, after President Trump finishes his second term.
TAPPER: But you are not at all disturbed by what he’s saying about, if the ballots aren’t counted, then I will — I mean, it’s really quite alarming to a lot of Republicans his refusal to say, of course, if I lose, I will abide by a peaceful transfer of power.
COTTON: Well, Jake, what the president was saying is that he is not going to concede in advance, especially when you have so many states changing the rules at the very last minute for mail-in balloting.
He’s since said that, if there is a clear winner, if the court settles the contested election, that, of course, he will.
But the premise of the question that you just played me is the president’s going to lose. I don’t think the president is going to lose. The president is going to win.
This is just another case where the Democrats are projecting some of their own intentions onto Donald Trump. It wasn’t Donald Trump who sicced the FBI on his opponent. That was Barack Obama and Joe Biden in 2016.
Hillary Clinton is the one that said Joe Biden should concede under no conditions. And it was Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman who projected that, if Joe Biden loses, he would recommend that California and Oregon and Washington threaten to secede from the union to change the results.
TAPPER: All right.
COTTON: The Democrats are the one who should be pressed on whether or not they will accept a loss in November, because it doesn’t sound to me like they will.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor