On Oct. 16, after hesitating to make the commitment for weeks, Trump said he would accept a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.
During a news conference on Sept. 24, 2020, a reporter asked President Donald Trump if he would commit to a peaceful transition. Trump replied, "Well, we're going to have to see what happens. You know that. I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster ... We want to have -- get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very trans- -- we'll have a very peaceful -- there won't be a transfer, frankly; there'll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it."
Trump also questioned the integrity of the ballots, referring to mail-in voting, which he had repeatedly said would lead to widespread voter fraud. He added that it would be peaceful only if he could 'get rid of' the ballots and ensure a continuation rather than a transfer.
During an interview with Fox News in July, Trump was pressed by the network’s anchor, Chris Wallace, to “give a direct answer” about whether he would accept the election results regardless of the outcome. “I have to see,” Trump said. “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time, either,” he added.
But he continued to sow doubt on the election results.
Trump did not commit to accepting the 2016 election results. The peaceful transfer of power and accepting election results are fundamentals of democracy, states The New York Times.