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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow admitted during an interview that she was afraid of Donald Trump attempting to stay in power should he lose the 2020 US election.
Ms Maddow made the admission during an appearance on “The Tonight Show.”
During the segment, she and host Jimmy Fallon discussed the book Mr Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, wrote, titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”
Ms Maddow said the part of the book that “chilled me the most” was a prediction Ms Trump made that he will not agree to a leave the White House peacefully should he lose the election.
“I don’t know if that’s true,” Ms Maddow said. “But for her to say ‘Listen, I’ve known him since I was a kid, I’ve known him since I was a toddler, and I can tell you from a life’s worth of observation and every other hard thing I’ve ever seen him go through, there’s no way.”
Political commentators as well as former and current lawmakers have voiced their concerns over Mr Trump’s commitment to a peaceful transference of power should he lose the election.
“But to hear somebody who knows him say that flat out, without any equivocation, kind of rattled my teeth a little bit,” Ms Maddow said.
Mr Trump has been signalling for weeks that he plans to question the results of the election if he loses. He has claimed the Democrats are going to attempt to rig the election against him and conduct mass-scale voter fraud through the use of universal mail-in voting.
During an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Mr Trump refused to say he would accept the election results.
“I have to see. Look … I have to see,” Mr Trump said. “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”
Back in June, Mr Trump said if he lost the election he would “go on, do other things.”
“Certainly, if I don’t win, I don’t win,” Mr Trump said.
Despite Mr Trump’s assurances, political experts are worried he may not be willing to just “go on,” and that his reticence may result in outbreaks of violence.
A group of 80 political operatives and academics met in June and role-played post-election scenarios, all of which resulted in violence.
“All of our scenarios ended in both street-level violence and political impasse,” Rosa Brooks, a professor of law and policy at Georgetown University told The Boston Globe. “The law is essentially … it’s almost helpless against a president who’s willing to ignore it.”
Ms Brooks said the scenarios were not predictions, but possibilities.
“Our scenario exercises did not end in good places, but it’s important to note that this does not mean that there is something inevitable about chaos and constitutional crisis in the coming months,” she said. “Just that these particular exercises suggest that these are real possibilities.”
Ms Brooks said that “state governors, attorneys general, legislative leaders and secretaries of state need to think through these issues now, and understand the electoral system and relevant law nose, and not wait until Election Day to think about everything that could go wrong.”