Donald Trump will not leave the White House voluntarily if he loses the 2020 election, a Republican opponent is warning.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who is launching a Republican primary challenge to Trump, said this week that he does not expect a peaceful transition of power should Trump fail to win his re-election bid. As Newsweek noted, Weld said in an appearance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher that Trump’s former statements about the election being rigged appear to be a prelude to his challenging the results should he lose.
As Weld predicted, it would set up a conflict within the government should Trump refuse to leave power.
“Not voluntarily,” said Weld when asked if Trump would leave the White House after a loss. “He’ll have a run at saying, ‘It was a rigged game so I’m not leaving.’ I don’t think the military and indeed even the Justice Department — the rank-and-file, the investigative agencies — would stand for that in this country.”
Weld added that Trump has already shown a penchant for autocrats, being chummy with dictators and mirroring their attacks on the free press around the world. He also noted that Trump does not appear to be abiding by his oath of office.
“He says ‘We just can’t have these restrictions on me. I’m not gonna play. If anyone’s investigating me, I’m not gonna engage with Congress.’ What could be a more obvious violation of his oath of office?” Weld said.
Bill Weld is not the first person to predict that Donald Trump may not willingly leave power if he loses in 2020. As others have noted, Trump would likely have faced an indictment for the scheme to pay off adult film star Stormy Daniels and conceal the payment — lawyer Michael Cohen was convicted of felony campaign violations, and Trump was an unindicted co-conspirator — and many believe that he will cling to power rather than face the possible legal actions once he is no longer protected by the White House and the Department of Justice’s policy not to indict a sitting president.
GOP challenger Bill Weld turns up the heat on Trump: "Seems he would prefer an Aryan nation" https://t.co/LnCh6Qvzq0— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 23, 2019
Cohen himself has raised concerns that Trump will not go peacefully if he loses.
“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” Cohen said, via The Independent.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also raised the idea. Speaking more generally, she said that America needs to has “to be prepared” for the possibility that there is not a peaceful transition of power.