In a column for MSNBC, political analyst Steve Benen suggested that Donald Trump's claim that he deserves a "re-do" for his first four years as an admission that his re-election campaign isn't going well and he is setting the stage to dispute the results of the election in November should he lose.
During a campaign stop in Minnesota on Monday, Trump told a sparse crowd that his campaign was "spied upon" by the previous administration -- which an FBI investigation said had no basis in fact -- and therefore he was deserving of an additional four years because he was hampered by investigations from running the government the way he felt it should be run.
"You have to see what's happening," Trump said before claiming the November election likely won't be "fair." He then added, "The only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged. Remember that."
Calling Trump's assertions a "toxic cocktail," Benen wrote that the country is headed for a nightmare in November if the president refuses to step aside if he loses.
"The president isn't prepared to accept election results he doesn't like; he's already decided the race isn't 'fair,' and he's concluded that any election in which he loses should be seen, by definition, as corrupt<" the columnist explained. "The best-case scenario is, the president is creating pitiful excuses for himself, which he'll use to explain away an electoral defeat in the fall. The worst-case scenario is far more nightmarish: an unhinged leader with authoritarian instincts may decide to reject the peaceful transition of power, one of the pillars of our political system."
Moreover, Benen explained, the president is making a tacit admission that he is going to lose and is testing out just one of the excuses he will be making if he goes down to defeat.
"Trump can champion 'law and order,' or he can talk up the idea of ignoring the Constitution, but he really shouldn't try to do both at the same time," the columnist suggested before adding, "when an incumbent president is telling voters he's looking for 'a re-do of four years,' it's a sign that things aren't going well."
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