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.
‘At the edge of an abyss’: Experts warn America could plunge into sectarian violence after election
Experts on international conflict resolution are warning that the United States is on the verge of seeing a wave of sectarian violence unleashed by the 2020 presidential election.
In interviews with NPR, several experts said the United States is exhibiting troubling signs that other countries that have been plagued by sectarian violence have shown in recent decades.
"We thought we were immune to it," said Tim Phillips, the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Beyond Conflict. "When we looked at our own problems, we thought: 'Of course we have some big issues, but we're in a sense immune from an us-versus-them mindset, a sectarian mindset, where there could be real conflict.'"
Trump humiliates a vulnerable GOP senator in her home state
While campaigning in Arizona on Wednesday, President Donald Trump gratuitously humiliated a vulnerable ally who is desperately trying to keep her Senate seat.
He spoke first at a large rally of supporters, but he realized that Republican Sen. Martha McSally should get the opportunity to speak as well, given that she's underwater in her fight against Democrat Mark Kelly.
Trump didn't seem happy to share the stage, though.
"Just come up fast. Fast, fast," he said. "Come on. Quick. You got one minute! One minute, Martha! They don't want to hear this, Martha. Come on. Let's go. Quick, quick, quick. Come on."
Eva Longoria is famous for her acting, but she’s increasingly recognized as a political player in Texas and beyond
A few weeks ago, Texas actor Eva Longoria and her pal, Republican-turned-Biden-supporter Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, unintentionally caused a ruckus while campaigning on behalf of former Vice President Joe Biden at a strip mall in Miami.
Situated at a socially distanced campaign event at a Colombian restaurant between a barber shop and day care, Longoria was a focal point of adoration and political aversion. Some young girls came out of the day care and immediately recognized the actor from the 2019 live-action Dora the Explorer movie.
“They wanted to take a picture with Dora’s mom,” Navarro-Cárdenas recently recalled to The Texas Tribune. “Then some ... Latino Trump supporters came out of a barber shop and starting screaming ‘Communist’ at her.