Senior House Democrat James Clyburn on Sunday doubled down on his comments comparing Donald Trump to a dictator, suggesting the president ‘doesn’t plan to leave the White House’.
The House Majority Whip told CNN: ‘I don’t think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections. I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue to hold onto office.
‘And that is why the American people had better wake up. I know a little bit about history, and I know how countries find their demise. It is when we fail to let democracy, and the fundamentals of which is a fair, unfettered election.’
Trump had on Thursday suggested delaying the November election until ‘people can properly, securely and safely vote’. In March last year South Carolina Democrat Clyburn said the Trump family are among the ‘greatest threats to democracy’ in his lifetime.
Senior House Democrat James Clyburn, pictured, on Sunday doubled down on his comments comparing Donald Trump to a dictator
Trump had on Thursday suggested delaying the November election until ‘people can properly, securely and safely vote’. In March South Carolina Democrat Clyburn said the Trump family are among the ‘greatest threats to democracy’ in his lifetime
¿I don¿t think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn¿t plan to have fair and unfettered elections. I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue to hold onto office,¿ Democratic Rep. James Clyburn says about Pres. Trump. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/q0CgdTwWcX
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) August 2, 2020
Clyburn had told PBS on Friday: ‘I have been saying now for about three years that this president doesn’t plan to have an election. He’s not planning to give up the office.
‘He thinks that the American people will be duped by him, like the people of Germany was duped by Adolf Hitler.’
He added Sunday: ‘I feel very strongly that this man has taken on strong-arm tactics’ before comparing Trump to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.
Clyburn is the third-ranking Democrat in the House. In March last year he said: ‘Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany. And he went about the business of discrediting institutions to the point that people bought into’ it.
‘Nobody would have believed it now. But swastikas hung in churches throughout Germany. We had better be very careful.’
Trump has, of late, refused to say if he’ll accept what happens in November.
Asked by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, in an interview to air Monday on HBO, the president wouldn’t say if he would accept the will of the voters but did argue Hillary Clinton hadn’t accepted the 2016 election.
Donald Trump’s Senior Campaign Advisor Jason Miller said Sunday that the president does not want to delay the November elections. ‘The election is going to be on November 3rd and President Trump wants the election to be on November 3rd,’ he told Fox News Sunday
His senior campaign adviser insisted Sunday morning that the president wants to hold the elections on the typical date of November 3, even though he suggested last week that they be postponed.
‘The election is going to be on November 3rd and President Trump wants the election to be on November 3rd,’ Jason Miller told Fox News Sunday.
Miller said instead that it is Democrats who want to move the election date by expanding mail-in voting measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘The problem here, and what I think President Trump was doing a good job in highlighting, is the fact that these Democratic governors are the ones who want to go and move the election,’ Jason told Fox News host Chris Wallace.
‘These Democratic legislators who want to extend the election,’ he lamented.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell shot down Trump’s suggestion to delay the November 3 contest
Even some of Trump’s top Republican allies disagreed. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (left) and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (right) said the election should not be delayed
WHO DOES DECIDE WHEN U.S. VOTES?
The White House has little to no say in the timing of the election – it has already been set down by Congress .
The Constitution sets a limit on the president’s term of January 20 and puts the responsibility for choosing a new one on the Electoral College – made up of the states’ electors.
It then spells out that Congress has to pick the date for choosing the electors, which must be the same across the country.
Initially states did not all choose the electors by popular vote, but as they did, and with the advent of instant communication in the form of the telegraph, it became clear there had to be a national election date.
In 1845, Congress set the date of the presidential election itself for the first time, as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
It has not been changed since, and would need an act of Congress to change it. Given the Democrats’ hold on the House that seems impossible.
But there is some room for the White House to pressure states to put off elections for a few weeks.
The constitutional requirement that they choose their electors does not set a date – but in 1948 Congress did, as ‘the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.’
In theory, states could delay their elections to closer to that date – but that would take the country to the brink of a constitutional crisis and appears highly unlikely to happen.
Miller’s comments came a few days after Trump said Thursday morning that he wanted the election delayed until ‘people can properly, securely and safely vote.’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, among other top Republicans shot down the president’s proposal.
During a call with reporters hosted by Trump’s campaign on Saturday, Senator Marco Rubio said he is ‘not concerned about mail-in voting in Florida,’ which is the president’s main argument for changing the date of the general election.
Trump does not have the power to delay the election.
That would take an act of Congress and even the president’s top allies on Capitol Hill made it clear Thursday that would not happen.
McConnell pointed out elections hadn’t been delayed in the past and did not need to be now.
‘Never in the history of the country through wars, depressions, and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time.
‘And we’ll find a way to do that again this November 3,’ McConnell told a local Kentucky television station.
He confirmed he expected the election to take place on November 3.
‘That’s right. We’ll cope with whatever the situation is in the election on November 3 as already scheduled.’
Other Republicans agreed.
‘I don’t believe we should delay the elections. Delaying the election probably wouldn’t be a good idea.
‘I think we can be able to safely vote in person in November,’ said Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally on Capitol Hill.
Senator Rick Scott, another Trump ally, said he ‘doesn’t agree with delaying the election.’
Joe Biden has warned that Trump could seek to nullify and try to delegitimize November’s contest should he lose.
‘Mark my words: I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,’ Biden said at a virtual fundraiser in April.