With two months to go before the election, big-name Democrats are urging Americans to start worrying over what they claim is the possibility that President Donald Trump will refuse to leave the White House should he lose.
Failed Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said his interpretation of comments from Trump that the only way Democrats can beat him is by rigging the election is that the president might not leave office if he loses. In a similar manner to 2016, Trump has been coy when asked if he will accept the results of the election.
“This is not just idle speculation,” Sanders told Politico.
The Vermont independent said he plans to focus in the coming weeks on his concerns that Trump might not leave office, with Politico reporting that he “is calling on Congress and the media to take action to prepare for that scenario now.”
“What we have got to do in the next two months is to alert the American people about what that nightmarish scenario might look like in order to prepare them for that possibility and talk about what we do if that happens,” he said.
“[I]t would be an unprecedented moment in American history and undermining everything that this country stands for if we have a president remain in office who lost the election,” Sanders said.
The democratic socialist will be telling supporters in an email that “This is not just a ‘constitutional crisis.’ This is a threat to everything this country stands for,” according to Politico.
The outlet added that Sanders “will say news organizations need to alert people that the election results may not be known on Nov. 3. Social media companies ‘must finally get their act together’ to ensure that election officials are not harassed and disinformation is not spread on their platforms, he said.
“Additionally, he called for congressional hearings with local officials about their plans for Election Day and thereafter. He also said state legislatures in Pennsylvania and elsewhere must pass bills to allow election officials to begin counting mail ballots before the election,” Politico reported.
Sanders also said that even the appearance of Trump leading on election night could create untold complications.
“The nightmare scenario there is that, at a time when some states like Pennsylvania are finding that they don’t have the resources right now to count votes, their mail-in ballots, in a rapid way, that it is possible that in some states Trump will be winning on election night, and yet when all of the votes are counted, he will be behind. He will lose,” Sanders said.
But while that process is going on, Trump “will create chaos and confusion by claiming that there is massive fraud within the mail-in ballot process,” Sanders predicted.
Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Joyce rejected Sanders’ entire premise.
“The only reason Bernie Sanders is spreading hypothetical conspiracy theories about President Trump is because even an avowed socialist like Bernie realizes that Joe Biden’s radical left agenda is going to cost him the election on Nov. 3,” he told Politico.
An RNC spokesman responded, “The only reason Bernie Sanders is spreading hypothetical conspiracy theories about President Trump is because even an avowed socialist like Bernie realizes that Joe Biden’s radical left agenda is going to cost him the election on November 3.”
— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) September 4, 2020
Sanders is not alone in predicting a dire fate for the nation.
Trump “seems to have no compunctions at all about trying to rip apart the social fabric and the political equilibrium of the American people, and he’s strategically planting doubts in advance,” former Vice President Al Gore told Reuters late last month.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Thea McDonald said in response that Democrats should “quit pushing their conspiracy theories.”
“Al Gore is brazenly laying the groundwork for Joe Biden to dispute November’s election results when President Trump wins — just as Gore himself did back in 2000,” McDonald said.
Although Democrats are pointing the finger at Trump, failed 2016 Democratic presidential nominees Hillary Clinton said last month that this year’s Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, should not concede to Trump on election night if the election is close.
“Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances,” Clinton said last month, stressing the last two words in the sentence, “because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually, I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is.”
In a statement to Politico, Trump campaign lawyer Matthew Morgan accused Clinton of “unashamedly trying to lay the groundwork for Joe Biden to deny the election results when President Trump wins.”
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