‘Deranged’: Fiery clash at Trump presser
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has clashed with reporters over the US President's refusal to commit to a "peaceful transfer of power".
During a press conference on Thursday US time, Ms McEnany was asked to clarify whether Donald Trump would concede defeat to Joe Biden if he lost the upcoming November 3 election.
Yesterday, Mr Trump was grilled by Playboy's White House correspondent Brian Karem about how he would handle an election defeat, saying "we're going to have to see what happens … Get rid of the ballots, there won't be a transfer, they'll be a continuation."
Seriously, we cannot let this one slide as just another crazy thing the crazy president crazily said because he's a crazy norm-breaking crazy guy.— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) September 23, 2020
This is beyond norm-breaking or lib-owning. This one should be the red line for even the die-hards. This is the moment. https://t.co/ll3Ki77Mte
Mr Trump was specifically talking about mail-in ballots, not votes cast in person, and his alarming response came after a string of accusations that the Democrats were trying to "steal" an election win through large scale mail voter fraud.
When asked for clarification on Mr Trump's response by ABC's Jon Karl, Ms McEnany initially appeared dismissive of the so-called "Playboy reporter" and his line of questioning.
"You are referring to the question asked by the Playboy reporter, right?" she said.
"I'm referring to the president being asked if there would be a peaceful transfer of power and he did not say yes," Mr Karl said in response.
"Will there be a peaceful transfer of power if he loses?"
"He was asked 'win, lose or draw' whether he would accept the transfer of power - I'm not entirely sure if he won why he would accept the transfer of power, that is maybe the deranged wish of that reporter, but that is not how governing works," she said.
An audibly frustrated Mr Karl repeated his line of questioning, insisting he was asking a "very direct and very simple question".
Ms McEnany said the President would accept the results of a "free and fair election" but said the question was more fitting to be directed to the Democrats, claiming some were on the record saying they would not accept a loss.
The issue was then picked up by NBC's Peter Alexander, who asked: "Are the results legitimate only if the President wins?"
"The President will accept the results of a free and fair election," Ms McEnany repeated.
"He will accept the will of the American people."
Mr Alexander attempted to ask the question a final time, asking: "So for clarity, if he loses and it's free and fair, he will accept it?"
Ms McEnany fired back, saying she had "I've answered your question".
Mr Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power has sparked controversy in the US as the November election - widely tipped to be a nailbiter - draws nearer.
Originally published as 'Deranged': Fiery clash at Trump presser