Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Anne Applebaum fears President Donald Trump and his Republican allies might complete their authoritarian transformation by stealing November's election.
Applebaum appeared Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to discuss her latest column for The Atlantic, where she warns that Republicans have been complicit in Trump gathering authoritarian powers over democratic institutions -- and they may soon finalize that process.
"What would come next?" Applebaum said. "In a lot of liberalizing countries or countries that cease to be democracies, what comes next is the attempt to steal an election, and what I hope all Americans will be focused on over the next several months is will Trump and will the Republican Party collaborate in an attempt to steal this election?"
"Will they try to change the rules?" she added. "Will they mess around with distance voting? Will they, you know, exacerbate the problems caused by the pandemic to prevent people from voting? That's the thing that's going to happen next."
Applebaum admitted she had little faith that Trump or the GOP were willing to risk losing the White House or their grip on the U.S. Senate.
"Do they value democracy in America enough to allow a real election to go through and to allow themselves to lose?" she said. "I think there will be a few people that will break out of it. I'm doubtful as to whether we can rely on the party leadership."