Retired general with Maine ties reacts to President Trump’s transfer of power comments

President Donald Trump’s comments that he will not commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election provoked a strong reaction from former national security officials.Retired Brigadier General Paul Greg Smith, who lives half the year in Boothbay Harbor, is reluctant to get into politics but is one of 489 former national security officials signing a letter endorsing Joe Biden as “the leader our nation needs.””I view Joe Biden as a leader of character and integrity who will support the Constitution. In recent years, my sense has been, that the Constitution has weakened, if not under attack. That concerns me greatly,” Smith said.Smith commanded the Massachusetts Army National Guard and the joint task force that responded to the Boston Marathon bombings.”Yesterday, I think we heard a rather frightening statement from the White House,” Smith said. “It goes beyond rhetoric, it goes beyond loose speech, it’s a threat to the bedrock of our nation.” Maine independent Sen. Angus King said Thursday that the president’s statement is “dangerous” and an “implicit invitation to violence.””What differentiates us from virtually all other countries throughout history is the peaceful transfer of power, and for him to say what he did last night is – chilling is too mild a word,” King said.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also pushed back against the president’s comments.Because so many people are expected to vote by mail or absentee, King warned the results of the election probably won’t be known on Nov. 3.”What we hear about election results on election night is the halftime score. This year it’s very unlikely, because of the huge number of absentee and mail-in ballots, we’re not going to have a final count,” King said.King said because Republicans prefer in-person voting more than Democrats, the president might be setting up a situation where he could be ahead on election night, and later say, “I won and now they’re stealing it from me.”

President Donald Trump’s comments that he will not commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election provoked a strong reaction from former national security officials.

Retired Brigadier General Paul Greg Smith, who lives half the year in Boothbay Harbor, is reluctant to get into politics but is one of 489 former national security officials signing a letter endorsing Joe Biden as “the leader our nation needs.”

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“I view Joe Biden as a leader of character and integrity who will support the Constitution. In recent years, my sense has been, that the Constitution has weakened, if not under attack. That concerns me greatly,” Smith said.

Smith commanded the Massachusetts Army National Guard and the joint task force that responded to the Boston Marathon bombings.

“Yesterday, I think we heard a rather frightening statement from the White House,” Smith said. “It goes beyond rhetoric, it goes beyond loose speech, it’s a threat to the bedrock of our nation.”

Maine independent Sen. Angus King said Thursday that the president’s statement is “dangerous” and an “implicit invitation to violence.”

“What differentiates us from virtually all other countries throughout history is the peaceful transfer of power, and for him to say what he did last night is – chilling is too mild a word,” King said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also pushed back against the president’s comments.

Because so many people are expected to vote by mail or absentee, King warned the results of the election probably won’t be known on Nov. 3.

“What we hear about election results on election night is the halftime score. This year it’s very unlikely, because of the huge number of absentee and mail-in ballots, we’re not going to have a final count,” King said.

King said because Republicans prefer in-person voting more than Democrats, the president might be setting up a situation where he could be ahead on election night, and later say, “I won and now they’re stealing it from me.”