Rep. Gonzalez: Trump refusing to commit to peaceful power transfer is ‘disturbing’

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez speaks about the recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service during a press conference in front to the U.S Post Office on Wednesday in McAllen. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez today called President Trump’s apparent reluctance to commit to a peaceful transition of power should his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, emerge victorious in the presidential election in November a “disturbing” occurrence and called upon the president to clarify his remarks.

In a statement, Gonzalez, D-McAllen, who has been critical of the president in the past, urges Trump to reflect the tradition of previous administrations to transition the powers of the presidency accommodatingly.

“A peaceful transition of power is a cornerstone of American democracy,” Gonzalez wrote. “President Trump’s comments last night are disturbing and par for the course for his presidency. Can you imagine what the United States would say if another nation’s leader made comments like these? The president must clarify his position immediately and promise to uphold a peaceful transition of power should Joe Biden win the election.”

Gonzalez’s remarks come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to Twitter on Thursday to promise “an orderly transition.”

During a press briefing Wednesday, Trump said “we’re going to have to see what happens” in response to a question about committing to a peaceful transition.

“You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster,” Trump said.

The president’s reluctance is in line with remarks he made during the 2016 presidential election, when he expressed a refusal to accept the results if his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were to win.