Eric Trump told a crowd of his father’s supporters at an event in Las Vegas that President Donald Trump would concede the election “if he got blown out of the water” by Democratic nominee Joe Biden after the president had cast doubts on a peaceful transfer of power once the race is decided.
“I think my father’s just saying listen, if he got blown out of the water, of course, he’d concede,” Eric Trump said at the Thursday event, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “If he thought there was massive fraud, then he’d go and try and address that.”
There is no evidence of massive voter fraud and election experts have repeatedly noted that if fraud happens, such as a recent case in New Jersey in which a new election was called after allegations of mail-in ballot fraud, it is easily found. But the president’s comments still caused consternation among constitutional and election experts.
Nine states and the District of Columbia plan to send ballots in the mail to all registered voters. Of those states, only Nevada is considered a swing state where Biden holds a six-point lead. In other states, such as Michigan and Florida, voters have to request an absentee ballot in order to vote by mail.
Eric Trump told supporters at the event, which was outdoors with a limited crowd due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state, that Democrats “are going to cheat” in the election and pressed supporters to be poll watchers.
At a campaign rally in Virginia on Friday, the president told supporters he wanted a “beautiful transition.”
“And I want a smooth beautiful transition, but they don’t add the other part,” he said, pointing toward journalists at the event. “But it’s got to be an honest vote.”
Earlier this week, the president declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose this fall to Biden.
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
Pressed further, Trump said: “We’ll want to have — get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.” Trump also wavered in June when asked by Fox News’ Chris Wallace whether he would accept the election results.
Top Republican lawmakers were quick to dismiss Trump’s refusal to commit and Democrats pounced on the president’s comments, describing his words as frightening and fascist.
“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted following Trump’s remarks.
Dartunorro Clark is a political reporter for NBC News.