President Donald Trump said Friday he will respect the results of an “honest vote” and vowed to support a “smooth, beautiful transition,” while also indicating he does not expect one will be necessary.
Trump’s comments came two days after he said, when asked about the possibility of a loss to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and whether he would commit to a peaceful transferal of power, that “we’re going to have to see what happens.”
The remark was attacked by Democrats who claimed it meant Trump would not heed the will of the people.
During a rally Friday night in Newport News, Virginia, Trump predicted that mass mail-in voting is “a disaster waiting to happen.”
“I want a smooth, beautiful transition, but they don’t add the other part. But it’s got to be an honest vote,” Trump said.
“Look at Iowa. Look what happened. Just take a look at that. They still don’t know who won. They didn’t know weeks later.
“Remember, New Hampshire, when New Hampshire declared a winner. And essentially they don’t know what happened in Iowa, except the difference is we’re doing the same thing, but with tens of millions of ballots,” he added.
Trump said there is a difference between the time-honored system of absentee voting and the mass mailing of ballots to people who have not requested them.
“This is a disaster waiting to happen, and they shouldn’t let this system go,” he said.
“If you ask for a ballot, it’s called solicited, you solicit, you want the ballot, it comes in, you sign it, you send it back, that’s OK. But where they send millions and millions of unsolicited ballots, people get ballots, they didn’t even know they were getting them.”
Third parties trying to sign ballots for others or persuade them to vote one way is “called harvesting,” Trump said. “They’re going to harvest ballots, even though, in some cases, in most cases, it’s illegal, it’s illegal as hell, and it should be illegal.”
He suggested mail-in ballots could keep coming for days after the polls close.
“I could be leading, and then they’ll just keep getting ballots and ballots and ballots and ballots,” Trump said.
“So this is a disaster waiting to happen, and the only hope we have really, other than going through a long, unbelievable litigation at the end after it’s over — because we’re going to win, we’re not going to lose this, except if they cheat,” he added.
“That’s the way I look at it. We can’t let them cheat. We can’t let them,” the president said.
“Our country is at stake,” Trump said, “because these people will destroy our country. We can’t let this happen, and this is a scam.
“They know it. The media knows it, but the media doesn’t want to cover it. They know exactly what’s going to happen, and so do I, but the Democrats know better than all of us what’s going to happen.”
Trump said his supporters need to be vigilant for irregularities in voting.
The Unsolicited Mail In Ballot Scam is a major threat to our Democracy, & the Democrats know it. Almost all recent elections using this system, even though much smaller & with far fewer Ballots to count, have ended up being a disaster. Large numbers of missing Ballots & Fraud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2020
“If you see anything, you just have to report it and everything. We’re all watching, law enforcement’s watching all over the place, but it’s very hard to watch,” he said.
The president said that he expects to win.
“That’s the only way we’re going to lose is if there’s mischief, mischief, and it’ll have to be on a big scale, so be careful, and we do want a very friendly transition, but we don’t want to be cheated and be stupid,” he said.
Trump added that he would conduct an orderly transition if he loses a fair election, but said “we know that there were thousands and thousands of ballots that made the difference through cheating.
“We’re not going to stand for it.”
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