“Donald Trump said on Friday,” the British newspaper the Guardian reported, “that he would not necessarily accept the results of the presidential election.” If those words sound oddly familiar it’s because they are. It’s a quote from the Saturday, October first, 2016 edition of the Guardian. When it comes to figuring out what creepy, underhanded, criminal ploy Donald Trump is up to, nothing quite projects like projection.
And he’s at it again. This time the claim from the Donald Trump camp is, as Trump put it in a recent tweet, “The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!” In other words, if a Democratic candidate wins the presidential election in 2020 it is, by definition according to Trump, an illegitimate win.
Trump 2020 campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany dutifully parroted Trump’s tweet in a statement about the investigations into Trump’s crimes: “These desperate Democrats know they cannot beat President Trump in 2020, so instead they have embarked on a disgraceful witch hunt with one singular aim: topple the will of the American people and seize the power that they have zero chance at winning legitimately.”
As indicated, Trump has done this before. Had he lost the 2016 election, he was prepared to drag the American people through a long and tedious demand for a recount. We now know, thanks in part to Michael Cohen’s recent testimony, that this would have been simply a ploy to promote and advertize the Donald Trump “brand,” and Trump would have pursued it as far as the relatively inconsequential power of a failed candidate would have permitted.
This time around the stakes are higher and Trump’s power to contest the election and disrupt the will of the American people will be considerable. Trump will have the full power of the Presidency in a lame duck period, and, as Michael Cohen ominously warned, “… given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”
Given the apparent plans of the Trump criminal gang, the need to eject the “president” from office before the 2020 election concludes is an urgent priority. If Trump’s history as a “businessman” has taught us anything, it has demonstrated time and time again that Donald Trump doesn’t merely dislike losing, he refuses even to acknowledge it.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.