WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. Democrat said on Monday that Donald Trump might not like the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election but reminded the Republican president that he will have to vacate the White House if he loses.
“There is a process. It has nothing to do with if the certain occupant of the White House doesn’t feel like moving and has to be fumigated out of there because the presidency is the presidency,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview with MSNBC.
Trump equivocated when asked in a “Fox News Sunday” interview, “Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results of the election?”
“No. I have to see,” Trump said. “Look you - I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say ‘yes.’ I’m not going to say ‘no.’ And I didn’t last time, either.”
Despite lack of evidence, Trump frequently complains that mail-in balloting, which promises to be more widely used in this coronavirus-plagued election year, could lead to voter fraud.
He did not elaborate on what he believed his options are.
“Whether he knows it yet or not, he will be leaving,” Pelosi said. “Just because he might not want to move out of the White House doesn’t mean we won’t have an inauguration ceremony to inaugurate a duly elected president of the United States.”
Trump, who is seeking re-election in November against Democrat Joe Biden, faces plunging approval ratings amid a widespread resurgence of the coronavirus that has crippled the U.S. economy and altered everyday life for Americans.
Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said Monday: “The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”
Pelosi hinted that the subject of Trump refusing to go came up at a regular “continuation of government” briefing last week.
“This might interest you because I say to them, ‘This is never going to happen. God willing, it never will.’”
Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Richard Cowan; editing by Jonathan Oatis
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