Bernie Sanders puts Trump on notice: 'You are not going to destroy' U.S. democracy

Sanders slams Trump

Firebrand Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is sounding the alarm over Donald Trump's refusal to promise a peaceful transfer of power next year.

In a speech in Washington, D.C., the one-time Democratic presidential hopeful calls that orderly transition the bedrock of American democracy.

Under Trump, he says, it is in danger like never before.

The sitting president on Wednesday refused to commit to leaving office should he lose the Nov. 3 election to challenger Joe Biden.

Trump also suggested, as he has been doing for months without evidence, that Democrats are trying to perpetrate election fraud by encouraging Americans to use mail-in ballots.

Sanders says Americans are not going to allow Trump to destroy the democratic ideals that so many of their fellow citizens have died for.

"We’re going to have to see what happens," Trump said Wednesday in the White House briefing room when asked if he would permit an orderly transition if he loses the election.

"We want to get rid of the ballots," he continued. "You’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation."

The notion that a president can choose whether to stay or go is an affront to American values, Sanders said.

"There is nothing in our constitution or in our laws that gives Donald Trump the privilege of deciding whether or not he will step aside if he loses," he said.

"In the United States, the president does not determine who can or cannot vote and what ballots will be counted. That may be what his friend Putin does in Russia. It may be what is done in other authoritarian countries. But it is not and will not be done in America."

The coming election is not between Trump and Biden, Sanders said: "This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy — and democracy must win."

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