President Donald Trump flirted with the possibility of an authoritarian takeover again on Saturday, suggesting to supporters of a campaign rally that he might not engage in a peaceful transfer of power if he lost the ‘presidential election.
Speaking in Circleville, Ohio, the Commander-in-Chief questioned why he should make a peaceful transition when he said the previous administration had treated him so unfairly: “They ask me, ‘If you lose, will there be a friendly transition? Well, when I won, did they offer me a friendly transition? They spied on my campaign, they did it all. It was not a friendly transition.
Trump has already hijacked the question when reporters asked it, saying, “We’ll see what happens.” But he hasn’t pleaded before to challenge a transfer of power directly to supporters. Vice President Mike Pence joined the President in declining to answer the question, dodging it during the Vice Presidential Debate last week.
The administration of former President Barack Obama offered to help Trump and his transitional team move into the White House after the 2016 election, as has been the norm for past presidencies. The two met in January 2017 to discuss the switchover.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who helped the Obama administration transition to Trump, reacted with apparent exasperation last month when Trump first refused to engage in a peaceful transfer of power in case of loss: “In which country are we? Look, he says the most irrational things. I do not know what to say.
In the same Ohio speech on Saturday, Trump complained at length about the television coverage, both his now infamous. 60 minutes interview and what he said was an over-emphasis on COVID-19 coverage. Trump walked out of his recent Q&A with correspondent Lesley Stahl, but then posted the entire interview on his Facebook page.
“This 60 minutes, she asked me a question. I printed the entire interview, I said, I put it in writing. She said to me, “Why are you begging the women of the suburbs? You said, “Please love me, suburban women!” No, I didn’t say that. I said, “Love me, suburban woman, because I saved the suburb,” “he said.
He also mocked those who take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and appeared to suggest that it was all part of an election plot against him, saying, “That’s all I’m hearing now. Turn on the television, “Covid, Covid, Covid Covid Covid.” A plane breaks down, 500 people are dead, they don’t talk about it. “Covid Covid Covid Covid”. By the way, on November 4th you won’t hear from it again … ‘Please don’t go and vote, Covid!’ “
The new coronavirus has killed more than 220,000 Americans this year and infected more than eight million.
Obama, speaking in Miami earlier today, criticized Trump for trying to appear “tough.”
“He thinks that frowning or being mean is hard, and being rude is hard, but when 60 minutes and Lesley Stahl is too hard for you, you’re not that hard, ”he said. “Miami, listen, if he can’t answer a tough question like what you’d like to do in your second term, then it’s our job to make sure he doesn’t get a second term.
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