"We're going to have to see what happens," President Donald Trump said
donald trump
President Donald Trump
| Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty

At a press briefing at the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the upcoming election, saying  "the ballots are a disaster" and he expects the election results to make their way to the Supreme Court.

The comments came after a reporter asked the president whether he would commit to ensuring a peaceful transfer of power after the election.

"We're going to have to see what happens, you know that," Trump, 74, responded. "I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster."

"Get rid of the ballots and you'll have a ... very peaceful — there's won't be a transfer, frankly, there'll be a continuation," the president continued. "The ballots are out of control ... and you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else."

Trump's Wednesday comments echoed earlier remarks he made to Fox News reporter Chris Wallace.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday in July, the president said he would "have to see" when asked whether he might not accept the results of the election. Trump also told Wallace that he expected mail-in voting to “rig” the election, despite having no evidence to back up this claim.

Critics reacted swiftly to Trump's refusal to commit to accepting the results of the forthcoming election.

In a tweet, Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer said America "will not permit" Trump to be a dictator. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said the mere suggestion that the current administration might not peacefully transfer power should Biden win was "unthinkable and unacceptable."

And Rep. Adam Schiff tweeted his anger at both Trump and the Republican Party, which he wrote was "too craven to say a word" in response.

When asked how he responded to the president's comments, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden seemed to be at a loss for words.

"What country are we in?" the former vice president, 77, asked reporters. "I'm being facetious. I said, what country are we in? Look, he says the most irrational things. I don't know what to say."

In a meeting with a group of state attorneys general on Wednesday, Trump cited the upcoming election as one of the reasons he is so keen on filling the Supreme Court vacancy after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last Friday from complications of metastatic cancer.

"I think [the election] will end up in the Supreme Court, and I think it's very important that we have nine justices," Trump told reporters, again claiming that Democrats are attempting to rig the election.

"This scam that the Democrats are pulling — it’s a scam — the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court," Trump added.

Trump's comments come as polls continue to show him trailing Biden, facing an uphill battle even in red states. When confronted with those poll numbers in the past, Trump and those serving in his administration have called them "fake."