Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate GOP leadership team, told CNN it was not appropriate for President Trump to refuse to commit to a peaceful transition of power.
“No,” Cornyn said when asked if it was appropriate.
Asked if the GOP would do something about it if he won’t leave office if he loses, Cornyn said: “I’m not going to answer a hypothetical.”
Pressed repeatedly by CNN’s Manu Raju, Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer refused to take issue with the President’s remarks and eventually said that Trump often speaks in “very extreme manners” and he didn’t find what he said last night to be “overly extreme, quite honestly.”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, in a difficult re-election race, said: “It will happen,” referring to an orderly transition. “I’m not worried about that. It’s the least of my concerns.”
Graham said: “If there’s a court challenge to the election, it will be decided in court. And the loser of the challenge will accept the results.”
When asked about concerns they are pushing a Supreme Court nominee now to help tilt the outcome of any election results, Graham said: “We need a full court.”
Some Republicans were quick to deflect, pointing to Hillary Clinton’s remarks suggesting that Joe Biden “should not concede under any circumstances.”
North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, one of the most vulnerable Republicans, said: “Look, there’s going to be an orderly transition of power but if you’ve got spare time today go ask to every Democrat member and ask them if they stand with Hillary Clinton who says that Biden shouldn’t accept the result under any circumstances if he doesn’t win.”
Pressed on whether Trump should accept the results and commit to a peaceful transition, Tillis said: “Get back with me when you have spoken with the Democratic members on somebody who first said don’t accept the result of the election.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley: “Is your question any different than what Hillary Clinton told Biden: ‘don’t concede the election.’ No, it’s very clear whether Biden wins … this presidency ends on January the 20th under the Constitution.”