“The President says loopy stuff. We have at all times had a peaceable transition of energy. It is not going to alter,” mentioned Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who has been an occasional critic of the President.

Whereas Republicans insisted there can be a peaceable transition, many didn’t go as far as to explicitly criticize his remarks after Trump on Wednesday wouldn’t decide to offering a peaceable transition of energy after Election Day, lending additional gas to issues he might not relinquish his workplace ought to he lose in November.

Home GOP Chief Kevin McCarthy on Thursday insisted there will probably be a peaceable transition, but additionally steered he’s not involved by the remarks.

“Let me be very clear to you: It’s going to be peaceable,” McCarthy mentioned, including, “no questions, no qualms, no issues, it is going to be peaceable.”

Trump’s feedback amounted to a well-known sample on Capitol Hill: Stoking an argument, and placing Republicans in a jam. However this time, he stoked fears a couple of primary tenet of democracy, forcing Republicans to weigh in and demand the election outcomes will probably be adhered to — even when many did not need take him on by identify.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Thune of South Dakota, instructed CNN that he and different Republicans would stand as much as Trump if he tried an extra-constitutional energy seize.

“Republicans imagine within the rule of legislation, we imagine within the Structure, and that is what dictates what occurs (in) … our election course of and so sure,” Thune mentioned when requested if he’s assured that Republicans wouldn’t allow a non-peaceful switch energy to happen.

Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell hardly ever weighs in on controversial Trump feedback, however did so on Thursday, though he did not single out the President.

“The winner of the November third election will probably be inaugurated on January twentieth. There will probably be an orderly transition simply as there was each 4 years since 1792,” McConnell, who’s working for reelection this cycle in Kentucky, tweeted Thursday morning.

Mitt Romney of Utah, the lone Senate Republican to interrupt ranks and vote to convict in the course of the President’s impeachment trial, nonetheless, went the furthest and was sharply essential of the President’s message, although he didn’t confer with him by identify in his response.

“Elementary to democracy is the peaceable transition of energy; with out that, there’s Belarus. Any suggestion {that a} president won’t respect this Constitutional assure is each unthinkable and unacceptable,” Romney tweeted Wednesday night, referencing the disputed presidential elections in Belarus.

Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate GOP management crew, instructed CNN it was not acceptable for Trump to refuse to decide to a peaceable transition of energy. “No,” Cornyn mentioned when requested if it was acceptable. Requested if the GOP would do one thing about it if he will not go away workplace if he loses, Cornyn mentioned: “I am not going to reply a hypothetical.”

Sen. Susan Collins, who’s going through a aggressive reelection struggle in Maine, mentioned that whereas she has issues concerning the feedback, she is “assured that we’ll see it happen as soon as once more.”

“I do not know what his pondering was, however we now have at all times had a managed transition between administrations. And I am sure that if there is a change in administrations, that we now have the calmness as effectively. It is elementary to our democracy,” she mentioned.

Quite a few different Republicans, although, didn’t sound alarmed on the President’s remarks, whereas nonetheless arguing that the risk raised by them is not going to come to fruition.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, in a tough reelection race in South Carolina, mentioned: “It would occur,” referring to an orderly transition. “I am not apprehensive about that. It is the least of my issues.”

Graham mentioned: “If there is a court docket problem to the election, it is going to be determined in court docket. And the loser of the problem will settle for the outcomes.”

Donald Trump's election threat is actually worse than it appears

When requested about issues they’re pushing a Supreme Court docket nominee now to assist tilt the end result of any election outcomes, Graham mentioned: “We want a full court docket.”

“There will probably be a peaceable transition of energy, it might take the court docket course of to run its course, however there will probably be a peaceable transition of energy,” mentioned Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.

Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican and the previous Intelligence Committee chairman, dismissed the query put to Trump as an effort “to get him to say there’s an opportunity I would lose. Why would any candidate say that?”

“I feel that anyone that feels that there is a fault within the election would check it,” Burr mentioned, pointing to Bush v. Gore. “However on the finish of the day, we now have protocols for this.”

Quite a few Republicans had been fast to deflect, pointing to Hillary Clinton’s remarks suggesting that Joe Biden “should not concede under any circumstances” although Clinton’s remarks had been in reference to the chance that preliminary outcomes, if shut, may change given a surge in mail-in ballots this 12 months.

McCarthy mentioned on Thursday, “I hope you ask the identical query of Hillary Clinton who merely mentioned on the market, by no means concede the race”

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, one of the crucial weak Republicans up for reelection this cycle, mentioned: “Look, there’s going to be an orderly transition of energy however in the event you’ve obtained spare time immediately go ask to each Democrat member and ask them in the event that they stand with Hillary Clinton who says that Biden should not settle for the end result underneath any circumstances if he would not win.”

Pressed on whether or not Trump ought to settle for the outcomes and decide to a peaceable transition, Tillis mentioned: “Get again with me when you will have spoken with the Democratic members on any person who first mentioned do not settle for the results of the election.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, equally targeted on Clinton and Biden, saying “Is your query any completely different than what Hillary Clinton instructed Biden: ‘do not concede the election.’ No, it’s totally clear whether or not Biden wins … this presidency ends on January the twentieth underneath the Structure.”

On the finish of August, Clinton mentioned that if the election is shut Biden mustn’t concede saying: “Joe Biden mustn’t concede underneath any circumstances as a result of I feel that is going to tug out, and ultimately I do imagine he’ll win if we do not give an inch and if we’re as targeted and relentless as the opposite aspect is.”

Trump has beforehand refused to say whether or not he would settle for the election outcomes, echoing his sentiments from 2016. And he has joked — he says — about staying in workplace effectively previous the constitutionally certain two phrases. However his refusal to ensure a violence-free transition went additional and is more likely to alarm his opponents, already on edge given his deployment of federal legislation enforcement to quell protests in American cities.

Home GOP convention Chairwoman Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Home Republican, tweeted in response, “The peaceable switch of energy is enshrined in our Structure and elementary to the survival of our Republic. America’s leaders swear an oath to the Structure. We are going to uphold that oath.”

Appearing Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, tweeted, “As we now have executed for over two centuries we may have a reputable & truthful election It might take longer than traditional to know the end result, however it is going to be a legitimate one And at midday on Jan 20, 2021 we’ll peacefully swear within the President.”

This story has been up to date with extra developments on Thursday.

CNN’s Haley Byrd, Kristin Wilson, Lauren Fox, Ted Barrett, Kevin Liptak and Nicky Robertson contributed to this report.

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