His opponents have long warned President Donald Trump may try clinging to power if he loses this November’s election.
Some Republicans scoff at the nightmare scenario and say there is little to support such a claim.
But again and again, Trump has refused to stamp out the prospect – establishing a pattern of delegitimizing an election that polls have shown him losing for months.
The most provocative statement came at an early evening news conference on Wednesday, when Trump would not guarantee a peaceful transition of power should he lose, undermining a bedrock of American democracy.
The comment was explosive. But it was only the latest in a string of provocative comments by the President openly undermining the electoral process:
Trump won’t commit to facilitating a peaceful transition of power
September 23 news conference: “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster … We want to have – get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans- – we’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it,” he said.
Trump says the election will be decided at the Supreme Court
September 23 Oval Office: “But in terms of time, we go to January 20th. But I think it’s better if you go before the election because I think this – this scam that the Democrats are pulling – it’s a scam – this scam will be before the United States Supreme Court. And I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation, if you get that,” he said.
Trump says the way Biden wins is through rigged election
September 13 rally: “The Democrats are trying to rig this election because that’s the only way they’re going to win,” he said.
August 20 rally: “So this is just a way they’re trying to steal the election, and everybody knows that. Because the only way they’re going to win is by a rigged election,” he said.
Trump floats remaining in office even after two terms
August 17 rally: “We are going to win four more years. And then after that, we’ll go for another four years because they spied on my campaign. We should get a redo of four years,” he said.
September 13 rally: “And 52 days from now we’re going to win Nevada, and we’re going to win four more years in the White House. And then after that, we’ll negotiate, right? Because we’re probably – based on the way we were treated – we are probably entitled to another four after that,” he said.
Trump won’t commit to accepting election results
July 19 “Fox News Sunday” interview: “No. I have to see. Look you – I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say ‘yes.’ I’m not going to say ‘no.’ And I didn’t last time, either,” he said.
Trump floats delaying the election
July 30 tweet: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”