U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tore into President Donald Trump on Sept. 24 after he declined the day before to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the presidential election in November.
Pelosi said that she wasn’t surprised by his remarks, adding he’s “been contemptible of …governance” during his time in office, The Hill reported.
“We do know who he admires. He admires [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, he admires Kim Jong Un, he admires [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan in Turkey,” she said, listing off the leaders Trump has applauded in the past.
“But I remind him, you are not in North Korea, you are not in Turkey, you are not in Russia, Mr. President — and by the way, you are not in Saudi Arabia. You are in the United States of America, it is a democracy, so why don’t you just try for a moment to honor your oath of office, to the Constitution of the United States?”
Trump raised eyebrows by casting doubt over whether he would peacefully relinquish his post if he were to lose this November to former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee.
“We’re going to have to see what happens, you know, but I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster,” Trump told reporters when asked if he would commit to making sure there is a peaceful transition.
“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” he added. “The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, meanwhile, slammed Pelosi over her remarks on Turkey.
“@SpeakerPelosi’s rise to become Speaker of the House is what is truly worrisome for American democracy, given her blatant ignorance. You will learn to respect the Turkish people’s will,” Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter on Sept. 25.
Erdoğan’s top press aide, Fahrettin Altun, called Pelosi’s remarks “careless.”
“It’s against the US national interest and the spirit of an alliance to denigrate Turkey in an attempt to score domestic political points,” he tweeted.
Altun then asked Pelosi in English: “When was the last time that there was no peaceful transfer of power in Turkey — with the exception of military coups?
“And we remember who supported those attacks against Turkish democracy, too,” he said in a thinly-veiled reference to former U.S. administrations.
The Turkish military staged three coups in 1960, 1971 and in 1980.