President Donald Trump refused to commit to accepting the results of the 2020 presidential election if he loses in a new interview aired on Sunday. The president sat down with Fox News' Chris Wallace, where he was asked about new polls showing that former Vice President Joe Biden leads by 8 percent. Trump said that he will "have to see" whether he believes in the results of the election.
"First of all, I'm not losing, because those polls are fake," the president said. "They were fake in 2016 and now they're even more fake." Still, the president hinted that he is equally suspicious of the results of the election itself as well. He reiterated his controversial belief that mail-in voting is a way to "rig the election," despite the assurances of experts. Wallace pressed Trump on this and other tough questions during the Fox News Sunday interview.
"I have to see," Trump said of accepting the election results. "Look, you — I have to see. No, I'm not going to just say yes. I'm not going to say no." The president also said: "I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. I really do." When Wallace asked if Trump is generally a "gracious" loser, he said: "It depends."
These non-committal statements were concerning to many Americans, especially as they spread over social media as quotes later on. Many worried that Trump would act irrationally if his position or power were threatened, possibly posing a risk to the U.S. as a whole. As an example, they pointed to Trump's own defensive statements about the coronavirus pandemic in that very same interview.
Trump repeatedly tried to downplay the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, even when faced with the harsh statistics — at the time of this writing, at least 140,131 Americans have been killed by the virus. Cases are still on the rise, and experts fear that conditions will continue to worsen without drastic action.
Trump dismissed Wallace's comparisons to other nations or groups, like the European Union, where only about 6,000 new cases per day are being reported. Trump insisted that this because "they don't test," and declined to discuss or acknowledge any more specific policy differences between the U.S. and foreign governments when it comes to the coronavirus.0comments
Voters are bound to be concerned with the pandemic response and related issues in the 2020 election, particularly economic recovery. The new Fox News polls Wallace was citing showed that Biden had a lead on Trump even on questions about the economy — typically a strong issue for the president.
Trump insisted that Biden intends to take measures to defund the police at a federal level during the interview, which Wallace pushed back on. At that point, Trump halted the interview, calling on his aides to bring him a piece of paperwork that he thought would prove his point. Biden has not called to defund the police.