“They say we want a fair and friendly transition,” he said. “I say, ‘Really? Well, when I won you spied on my campaign.'”
Trump’s rhetoric has raised alarms among local officials worried about civil unrest or even violence in the aftermath of the election.
Democratic sources say that they are taking the President at his word. The Biden campaign is preparing for any number of legal contingencies that could arise if the vote is close, while lawmakers are preparing for plausible — and also quite implausible — scenarios that could arise if the presidential election were kicked to Congress to decide a winner. Democrats are also readying a response to Trump’s claims of fraud — which could cause his voters to doubt the legitimacy of the result, even if it’s a Biden landslide — with plans underway for nationwide protests should Trump try to dispute the result. They’re also working with social media companies to try to discourage a premature declaration of victory on election night.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats released a report on Sunday titled, “Counting Votes & What to Expect on Election Day,” aimed at preemptively pushing back on Trump’s claims of fraud, which details how not all states are likely to finish counting their votes on November 3.
“Despite the President’s false claims, according to the leading election experts in our country, voter fraud is nearly nonexistent,” the report says. “In some states, we may not know the winner on Election Night. That’s OK.”
Not taking any chances
While plans are being drawn up, there are concerns that Democrats simply won’t have the messaging horsepower to counter Trump’s bully pulpit — and Twitter account — if he claims victory on election night before states are called or claims that Democrats stole the election.
“We need to step up our messaging,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat. “There’s not an organized effort. We’re going to have to really move into hyper-drive here to counter that false and insidious narrative of the President and lower expectations about you’re going to know everything you need to know on November 3.”
Connolly added, “He is setting up a strawman and it has to be knocked down.”
But Democrats say they aren’t taking any chances and fear that even if Trump steps down, he will undermine public trust in the results if he loses. A Biden campaign official told CNN the campaign is coordinating with Democrats on Capitol Hill and voting rights groups with messaging around Trump’s attacks on the integrity of the election. The campaign has also spoken with social media companies about combating misinformation and about the reporting of election results, the official said.
“Donald Trump can bluster and lie all he…