Analyzing the latest attempts by Donald Trump's White House to both sow chaos and undermine the legitimacy of the November 3rd election, CNN's Stephen Collinson wrote that press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is busy setting the stage for Trump to quickly claim victory before all the votes are counted.
With the president refusing to say he would peacefully hand over the reins of government should he lose and telling reporters, "we're going to have to see what happens," Collinson claimed McEnany is using her daily press conferences to spout lies and accusations that will later be used by the president if it is a close election.
Writing, "Trump's attitude is causing real harm now, even as Americans in some states cast early and mail-in votes. It is not only raising the prospect of a divisive post-election period in November -- it is making it more likely that Trump's supporters will view the election as invalid and will refuse to accept the result if he doesn't win," the CNN analyst said the press secretary is doing her part to help steal the election should it remain tight on election night.
With McEnany stating, "The President will accept the results of a free and fair election," Collinson called out the "free and fair" qualifier in her proclamation.
"The qualification was alarming because the President has repeatedly argued that any election that includes mail-in voting -- which studies show does not suffer from massive fraud -- is not free and fair. McEnany was effectively establishing a predicate for the President to claim the election is rigged," he wrote before pointing out that she previously claimed that, if the election can't be called on election night due to mail-in votes, that means the system has "broken down" and vote totals are open to questioning.
With many choosing to use mail-in ballots due the COVID-19 health crisis and, "Since mail-in ballots may take longer to count in many states," Collinson wrote McEnany "is clearing the way for Trump to claim a premature victory and to take rhetorical and legal action to portray continuing vote counting as an attempt by Democrats to cheat."
He went on to write, "Trump's latest efforts to cast doubt on mail-in voting are piling on an already established record of tarnishing the coming election. He has urged his supporters to act as poll watchers -- raising the specter of intimidation. He appeared to urge North Carolinians to try to vote twice, which would be illegal, to test the security of mail-in voting. Trump and Attorney General William Barr have disregarded warnings by the intelligence agencies that Russia is again meddling in the election to help him, saying that China poses a far greater threat."
You can read more here.