Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Sunday appeared undisturbed by President Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November presidential election to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, because he’s confident that Trump will win re-election.
During a press conference at the White House on Wednesday, Trump offered a noncommittal reply when asked whether he can guarantee a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November presidential election.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said, before going on to wage his ongoing crusade against states expanding access to mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which he baselessly claims will lead to voter fraud.
“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” Trump said on Wednesday. “The ballots are out of control. You know it.”
When pressed during an interview on CNN regarding Trump’s incendiary remarks — which drew criticism even from quite a few Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) who called the peaceful transfer of power “fundamental to the survivor of our Republicans” — Cotton said that he agrees with Cheney before predicting that a peaceful transfer of power will “happen again in 2025” after the President’s supposed second term.
“We’ve been transferring the office of the presidency from one person to the next since 1796,” Cotton said. “I’m confident it’s going to happen again in 2025 after President Trump finishes his second term.”
Asked whether he’s at all disturbed by Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, Cotton argued that the President was saying that “he is not going to concede in advance” as many states expand access to mail-in voting “at the very last minute.”
“He’s since said that if there’s a clear winner, if the courts settle a contested election then of course he will,” Cotton said.
Cotton — who faced backlash for his “Send in the troops” op-ed published in the New York Times in June as protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death roiled the country — then appeared to take issue with CNN’s Jake Tapper for posing a question that he views as suggesting that Trump will lose in the November presidential election.
“I don’t think the President is going to lose. The President is going to win,” Cotton said. “This is just another case where the Democrats are projecting some of their own intentions onto Donald Trump.”
Cotton then went off on a tangent railing against Biden, former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, before arguing that “Democrats are the ones who should be pressed on whether or not they will accept a loss in November” because he believes “it doesn’t sound to me like they will.”
Tapper concluded the interview by telling Cotton “there’s a lot to fact-check in what you just said.”
Watch Cotton’s remarks below:
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: There will be “in January 2025, after President Trump finishes his second term.” pic.twitter.com/fVsvOT0rti
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) September 27, 2020