President Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's presidential election is a "gift to our adversaries," Trump's former national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday.

The big picture: McMaster, a retired three-star general, said that the American people must understand that the military will have "no role" in a presidential transition and that it's "irresponsible" to even talk about it as a possibility.

What he's saying: "What I think is it’s a gift to our adversaries who want to shake our confidence in who we are, shake our confidence in our democratic principles and institutions and processes,” McMaster told NBC’s “Meet the Press" about Trump's comments.

  • “If the Russians can just use our words against us, that’s the best way to pull us apart from one another.”
  • McMaster said that he "absolutely" agrees with Susan Rice, a national security adviser under President Obama, who recently opined in the NY Times that the political division in the U.S. should be treated as a national security threat.

The bottom line: "I think it’s so important for us to come together for civil discussions about the greatest challenges we face," McMaster said.

  • "Maybe that’s a way for us to come back together as Americans because as we’re at each other’s throats with this vitriolic partisan discourse, our adversaries haven’t stopped, the world hasn’t gone away."
  • "And that’s what I hope will help galvanize us to come back together and to reverse this polarization that is so damaging to our security and our psyche as well."

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Updated Oct 23, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on the upcoming election

Axios hosted a conversation on voter turnout and how national security will play a key role in November's election, featuring Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), CEO of Voto Latino María Teresa Kumar and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
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Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.