Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said on Thursday on the Firing Line of PBS that he does not believe President Donald Trump will yield immediately when Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is declared the next US president.
Hogan, a Republican, spoke while the election workers continued to count the votes across the country. Official sources had not yet sent appeals to a handful of key states by Thursday night, so both candidates had not yet reached the 270 votes needed to declare victory.
While Biden was ahead in both the electoral college and the Thursday night referendum, Trump claimed he had won some of the states still standing for election. The president’s campaign has also filed lawsuits related to the ongoing ballot counting, including lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania aimed at stopping the counting of ballots altogether.
Hogan told Firing Line that he had not personally reviewed all of the recent legal efforts of the campaign, but said Trump was “a guy who was always very litigious and used lawsuits as a strategic effort throughout his career.
“Every state, I think, is working really hard to get those votes counted,” Hogan said. “But only frivolous lawsuits to drag this out when they don’t deserve any credit is absolutely wrong for the country.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Trump made a speech claiming victory in the election, a statement that was pushed back by politicians and media representatives because of the counting efforts that were underway in several states.
“This was a kind of attack on our entire democratic process,” Hogan said of Trump’s speech. “It was really inappropriate to make these kinds of accusations and attacks outside the base, questioning the results, claiming victory and raising questions for which there was no evidence.
Trump also made accusations of electoral fraud without evidence and questioned the legitimacy of ballots received after election day, although some states allow such ballots if they are stamped by November 3. The lawsuits related to his campaign and his statements questioning the election results have raised fears that the president will refuse to yield if he does not win re-election.
Hogan said, “there is a part of me that is concerned” that Trump will not give in immediately if Biden is declared the winner.
“I firmly believe that our system has worked and will work for 200 years and that we will have a transition one way or another,” Hogan said. If Biden gets 270 votes and the lawsuits filed by Trump’s campaign don’t pan out, “I think the pressure on him to change his mind and maybe accept the election results will increase,” he added.
Hogan said he hoped that other members of his party would persuade Trump to give in if Biden won the election. “I think people are beginning to feel a little more comfortable raising their voices,” he said of his fellow Republicans.
After Hogan’s appearance on the firing squad, Trump made a speech at the White House, which began with the statement: “If you count the legal votes, I win easily. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.
Trump went on to criticize many of the pollsters for pre-election predictions that left him behind in states he later won, saying the postal vote “destroyed our system.
Responding to Trump’s speech, Hogan said on Twitter: “There is no defense that the president’s comments tonight undermine our democratic process. America counts the votes, and we must respect the results, as we always have. No election or person is more important than our democracy”.
Washington Newsday asked Trump’s campaign for a comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.