President Donald Trump’s increasing attacks on election integrity have raised new alarms about his efforts to delegitimize the results in November.
Just as he did in 2016, Trump has been flinging baseless accusations of “rigged” elections and has, as president, threatened to withhold funding from Michigan and Nevada for going ahead with plans to allow voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, reported Politico.
“He is planting the seeds for delegitimizing the election if he loses,” said Vanita Gupta, a former head of Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama. “It’s from the playbook. It’ll get more intense as he gets more freaked out.”
Trump hurled accusations of voter fraud and vote rigging during his GOP primary four years ago, especially when he lost, and set up a panel to investigate alleged election fraud after his election and blamed 2018 midterm losses on “electoral corruption.”
“He’s already set the stage to say it’s rigged,” said Pete Giangreco, a veteran Democratic strategist. “This is part of the Trump autocrat playbook … There’s no way this guy’s going to win the popular vote, and it’s at least 50-50 he’s going to lose the Electoral College. So, he’s got to come up with something else.”
Trump refused to say in 2016 whether he would accept an election loss, and current and former lawmakers have recently been discussing what could be done if the president refused to accept a defeat against Joe Biden.
“It’s one of those things that I think has a very low probability, but a very high risk,” said David Skaggs, a former Democratic congressman who has discussed the scenario with other past and present representatives. “So even though I don’t think it’s likely to eventuate into some kind of intervention at the state level by the president … there’s still some chance of that, and therefore it’s wise to take it seriously.”
Skaggs remains confident that enough honorable officials remain in government to uphold their oaths, but he’s concerned about pro-Trump forces outside the government.
“[There is a] militia movement out there in the country that would probably rise to arms if the president said they should,” Skaggs said, “and that would be awful.”
A spokesman for Trump’s re-election campaign dismissed the concerns, saying Hillary Clinton or Stacey Abrams had questioned results that went against them, but Democratic Party officials said there’s only one way to ensure the president can’t steal the election through lawsuits or other extraordinary measures.
“My job is to make sure he loses Wisconsin so badly that he doesn’t have an argument for sticking around that passes the smell test,” said Ben Wikler, chairman of Wisconsin’s Democratic Party.
McEnany claims to not have ‘exact details’ on Roger Stone clemency after federal judge orders review
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday claimed to not have "exact details" President Donald Trump's order to commute Roger Stone's sentence.
At a press briefing, McEnany was asked about a federal judge's demand to see Trump's order of clemency for Stone because there are questions about how it was crafted.
"I don't, um, have the exact details on that," McEnany insisted. "The Roger Stone clemency was a very important moment for justice. You had a completely bogus Russia witch hunt that found nothing and in order to justify the waste of taxpayers dollars."
GOP donors will have second thoughts about backing another Trump after four disastrous years: conservative
According to conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin, many Republican donors are not hardcore ideologues and base their giving on specific policies that may benefit them and, with that in mind, may balk at supporting another unknown quantity like Donald Trump who has created nothing less than chaos since becoming president.
The Republican Rubin -- who has become one of the president's most ardent critics -- explained in her Washington Post column that many donors are "transactional donors" making them different from some of the president's more vocal supporters in the press and in office.
Trump is shockingly losing voters in these 4 red states
Recent polls have given President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign very little reason for optimism. Poll after poll has shown Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee. Biden is quite competitive in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Virginia, but the most shocking part is how well the centrist Democrat is performing in some red states that Trump decisively won in 2016. Of course, any smart Democratic strategist realizes that the last thing Biden should become is overconfident, and one should never underestimate the GOP’s capacity for voter suppression — especially when it comes to communities of color. But if recent polls are any indication, Biden has a shot at victory even in some red states.