By Jon King /

Following comments Wednesday in which President Trump declined to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the November 3rd election, 8th District Democrat Elissa Slotkin is again calling on top intelligence and military officials to state their intention in such a circumstance. Meanwhile, the campaign of her opponent in that same election described her reaction as “liberal outrage” that shows “her partisan colors”.

At a news conference Wednesday, Trump said “We’re going to have to see what happens,” when responding to a question about whether he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.” While it is highly unusual that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process, Trump also declined four years ago to commit to honoring the election results if his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, won.

In reaction to the President’s statement, Slotkin issued a statement today saying that he had “again cast doubt on whether he would accept the results of the election if he doesn’t win. He has been saying this since July. He has laid the groundwork to refuse the peaceful transition of power. And if he loses, it will be up to those around him to either support his claims, or step back.” Slotkin added that Trump’s refusal to acknowledge he would peacefully transition authority if he loses is why she has been working to get senior military and Department of Homeland Security officials to clearly state on the record what they will do if the President refuses to transition from power. “The President can’t successfully refuse to accept the results of the election without a number of very senior officials aiding him. It is those officials, along with many others involved in administering elections, that will determine what happens after November 3rd.”

In response to Slotkin’s statement, Rob Wagener, the Campaign Manager for Republican Paul Junge issued the following statement. “Elissa Slotkin just can’t help but leap head first into the liberal outrage of the day. Whether it’s a debunked article from Slate or incomplete reporting from the New York Times, the Congresswoman shows her partisan colors. Michigan’s 8th District needs a Representative capable of working with the President, not one who only works to impeach him." Junge of Brighton is trying to unseat Slotkin and return the 8th District to the Republican column after her 2018 win made her the first Democrat to represent the district since 2000.

Last week, Slotkin sent official Questions for the Record to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf , asking him to commit to uphold the department’s apolitical role in the election. Slotkin also asked similar questions of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense.

Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, was asked about Trump’s comment after landing in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday night. “What country are we in?” Biden asked incredulously, adding: “I’m being facetious. Look, he says the most irrational things. I don’t know what to say about it. But it doesn’t surprise me.”

Trump has been pressing a months-long campaign against mail-in voting this November by tweeting and speaking out critically about the practice. More states are encouraging mail-in voting to keep voters safe amid the coronavirus pandemic. The president, who uses mail-in voting himself, has tried to distinguish between states that automatically send mail ballots to all registered voters and those, like Florida, that send them only to voters who request a mail ballot. Trump has baselessly claimed widespread mail voting will lead to massive fraud. The five states that routinely send mail ballots to all voters have seen no significant fraud.

Trump on Wednesday appeared to suggest that if states got “rid of” the unsolicited mailing of ballots there would be no concern about fraud or peaceful transfers of power. “You’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer frankly,” Trump said. “There’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control, you know it, and you know, who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else.”

In a July interview, Trump similarly refused to commit to accepting the results. “I have to see. Look ... I have to see,” Trump told Chris Wallace during a wide-ranging July interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”

The Biden campaign responded Wednesday: “The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.” The American Civil Liberties Union also protested Trump’s remarks. “The peaceful transfer of power is essential to a functioning democracy,” National Legal Director David Cole said. “This statement from the president of the United States should trouble every American.”

Trump made similar comments ahead of the 2016 election. When asked during an October debate whether he would abide by the voters’ will, Trump responded that he would “keep you in suspense.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Top Picture - President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Middle Picture - Elissa Slotkin

Bottom Picture - Paul Junge