‘We should take his threat seriously’: Hillary Clinton calls Donald Trump 'would-be dictator' trying to cling to office

Comments follow presidents refusal to peacefully transfer power if he loses election

Louise Hall
Thursday 24 September 2020 20:56 BST
Bernie Sanders urges Americans to unite against Trump's election threats

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Hillary Clinton has called Donald Trump a “desperate would-be dictator” following the president’s refusal to answer whether he would allow a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.

The comments come after the Mr Trump repeatedly declined to say whether he would peacefully hand over power to Mr Biden if voters choose the Democratic ticket in November.

“Trump’s refusal to commit to the peaceful transfer of power is the behavior of a desperate would-be dictator who’d cling to office even if it meant destroying our democracy,” the former Democratic presidential candidate posted on Twitter.

“It’s pathetic. But because he is the president, we should take his threat seriously,” she warned.

During a White House press briefing on Wednesday, Mr Trump refused to answer whether he would hand over office quietly if he lost saying: “well, we’re going to have to see what happens.”

He then doubled down on his continued criticism of widespread mail-in voting and unfounded claims that it would lead to ballot fraud.  

“I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots.  And the ballots are a disaster,” he said.

“Do you commit to making sure that there’s a peaceful transferral of power?” the reporter asked again.

“We want to get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation,” Mr Trump replied.

“The ballots are out of control. You know it,” he added, to which the reporter objected, “No, I don’t know it.”

Democrats have been warning for months that Mr Trump could contest the election by challenging results in key swing states based on his continued fraud claims. 

The president has continually pushed back against Democrats attempts to allocate funding to ensure an effective mail-in system and has also been accused of trying to degrade the postal service ahead of the November elections in order to limit mail-in voting,

He has said multiple times this week that he plans to challenge the results of the election in court if he loses, on the basis of mail-in fraud, committing to take the results all the way up to the Supreme Court if he loses.

At least one top GOP politician, House Republican Conference chairwoman Liz Cheney, has pushed back against the president’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

“The peaceful transfer of power is enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic. America’s leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath,” the Wyoming congresswoman tweeted.

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