In a rare rebuke several top Republicans contradicted President Trump Thursday, saying there would indeed be an orderly transition of power in the event Trump loses the 2020 election .
The controversy erupted during a Wednesday news conference during which Trump responded to a question about accepting the November election results by saying, “We’re going to have to see what happens.” He added, “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster."
While Democratic backlash was to be expected, Republicans have largely ignored some of Trump's more controversial statements until now.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, “If Republicans lose we will accept the result. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Joe Biden, I will accept that result.”
Longtime Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, chairman of the Appropriations Committee said, “Well, we’ve always had a peaceful transfer of power. That’s one of the hallmarks. And I think this year will be no exception.”
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also chimed in saying it was “very sad” he was even raising the question. “What would our founders think?” she asked.
“Calm down, Mr. President,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “You are in the United States of America. It is a democracy,” she said. "So why don’t you just try for a moment to honor our oath of office to the Constitution of the United States."
The White House attempted to clarify Trump's statement on Thursday saying he would “accept the results of a free and fair election,” according to Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. But she said Trump does want to “get rid of mass, mail-out voting," which he claims without evidence will lead to massive fraudulent ballots.