Speaking to a crowd of supporters at Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News, Virginia, Trump said that the Democratic Party is orchestrating an unprecedented “scam” to defeat him.
“We’re going to win. We’re not going to lose this except if they cheat, that’s the way I look at it,” he began, accusing his political opponents of trying to “destroy” the U.S.
“We can’t let this happen and this is a scam and they know and the media knows it but the media doesn’t want to cover it.”
Trump then urged his supporters to stay vigilant and pay attention to what is happening at polling places across the nation.
“We’re all watching, law enforcement are watching all over the place but it’s very hard to watch, millions of ballots, very hard to watch,” he said, stressing that the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden can only win if there is widespread “mischief.”
The president also touched upon the possibility of Biden winning the upcoming election, but refused to unequivocally commit to a peaceful transition of power.
He said that he wants a “very friendly transition, but we don’t want to be cheated and be stupid and say ‘let’s transit.'”
Trump’s refusal to fully commit to an orderly transfer of power has been the subject of much debate.
Several times this week, he alleged that the upcoming presidential contest cannot be considered legitimate as long as millions of Americans vote by mail.
There has been an expansion in mail-in voting programs due to concerns over public health and safety amid the coronavirus pandemic. Still, only 10 states — including the battlegrounds of Colorado and Nevada — will automatically mail ballots to voters.
Officials have dismissed concerns about potential fraud and manipulation, claiming that this form of voting is safe.
As Newsweek noted, some experts have warned that Trump may contest the results if he wins on election night but loses in the coming days, once all votes are counted.
Democrats have taken Trump’s threats about refusing to leave the White House seriously.
In an interview on Friday, Biden was not as alarmist as some of his colleagues, stating that he is “confident” Trump will step down if he loses.
Earlier this week, the GOP-controlled Senate unanimously passed a resolution committing to a peaceful transition of power, per The Hill.