U.S. Organization That Promotes Democracy Worldwide Issues Warning About Trump

A Washington, D.C. based non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of freedom around the world has sent a message about key democratic principles after President Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power regardless of the result of the upcoming November election.

Freedom House, which published a tweet in response to Trump's comments, was formally established in New York in 1941 and had first lady Eleanor Roosevelt as one of its first two honorary co-chairs. It is dedicated to the "support and defence of democracy around the world," according to its website.

"A key tenet of democracy is that politicians respect the electoral process and the will of the people," Freedom House said on Wednesday night. "There is nothing more anti-democratic than a leader who refuses to concede defeat."

Freedom House reacted to the reply that president Trump gave on Wednesday evening to a question from a reporter about if, in light of the protests that the country is experiencing, he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election.

"Well, we're going to have to see what happens," the president replied. "You know that I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster."

When he was pressed again on the issue about the fact that "people are rioting" and whether he would or would not accept a peaceful transfer of power, Trump again targeted mail-in ballots.

"We wanna have... Get rid of the ballots and we'll have a very peaceful... there won't be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control," the president said.

Trump has received a wealth of criticism over his remarks, both from the GOP and from the Democrats.

Senator Mitt Romney posted a tweet just hours after Trump's press conference, without specifically mentioning the president, which said: "Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus."

"Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable," the Republican from Utah added.

Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly, a Democrat, tweeted: "We are careening toward authoritarianism."

"Like every tinpot tyrant, he thinks these threats project strength and resolve. But really he's panicking, desperate to hold on to power at the end of a failed presidency. It's not strength — it's pure weakness," the House of Representatives member said.

The White House has been contacted for comment.

Statue of Liberty
The sun rises behind the Statue of Liberty and the skyline of Brooklyn in New York City on September 19, 2020 as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn/Getty Images
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