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President Trump will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power

President Trump dodged a question inquiring if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election. Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman shares the details.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: We want to turn our attention to what's driving these markets. And one of the things that had people concerned at the beginning of the trading session were those comments from President Trump about not accepting or going for a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election. Here's the president in his own words.

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

- I understand that, but people are rioting. Do you commit to making sure that there's a peaceful transfer of power?

DONALD TRUMP: We 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.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Listen, you'll have a continuation. How is that playing across Capitol Hill on both sides of the aisle?

RICK NEWMAN: Exactly as you would expect it to play. Trump's critics are outraged, which makes me think Trump is probably chuckling. He loves to trigger his critics and create a media firestorm, and he's done that. And we've even seen some Republicans today pushing back on this, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Republicans in Congress-- basically, the ones who have been having anything to say about this, have been saying, don't worry. We are going to have a peaceful transition no matter who wins in November.

So to some extent, this is Trump being Trump. But we all know that Trump is trying to lower expectations for how well he's going to do in November and create some kind of excuse for if he loses. And he's clearly trying to delegitimize the election before it even happens.

- Rick, I think all of us, both in the news business and just regular voters out there everywhere, are struggling with how seriously to take all of this. There is now a report, though, from "The Atlantic" saying that one of the strategies that the Trump campaign is weighing is somehow trying to bypass results in some swing states by installing electors who would vote for the president in the electoral college even if he loses the popular vote. I mean, how realistic is that kind of a scenario?

RICK NEWMAN: I think it's going to be very hard for the Trump campaign to overtly cheat. I think we have to remember that the federal government does not run presidential elections. The states run the elections. So any cheating would have to happen at the state level. Could that happen? I guess it probably could. I think it would be hard to do it secretly. I think it would be pretty clear.

One really complicated scenario-- I mean, it is possible that there is an electoral college tie at 269 to 269. And this becomes a little mind-bending because if there is a tie, the tiebreaker is the House of Representatives where the Democrats actually hold a majority in terms of seats. But Republicans have more state delegations in the House, which means they control more states than the Democrats do. And that is the determiner in a tie.

So if there is a tie, Trump is going to win because of this weird tiebreaker that's never been invoked. I mean, let's honestly hope it doesn't come to that, whoever you favor, because that would really provoke an uproar. But I think the Trump campaign, for sure, is looking for every edge you can possibly get because the odds are strong that they're going to lose.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Rick Newman, thank you very much.