MSNBC 2020 Panic: What If Trump Wins Vermont?

In their usual state of fear-mongering panic, members of the liberal media on MSNBC made wild speculations Friday night about the future of Russian interference in U.S. elections. Joy Reid, filling in for host Lawrence O’Donnell, was joined by guests Evan McMullin, co-founder of Stand Up Republic and The Daily Beast columnist Michael Weiss.

McMullin entered the discussion, stating: “Michael is pointing out something that's also very important about what will happen if there is hacking again, and there certainly will be in 2020. I don't believe that we can say anymore, and it's uncomfortable, that we had a free and fair election in 2016 in America. Think about that. The gravity of that.” He continued to explain the “gravity” of the situation: “…we are facing a situation in our country where our elections no longer will have popular legitimacy. And in that scenario, we lose control and we are not -- we are no longer free. That's what's on the verge of happening.”

 

 

Of course, he assured, this is all part of Trump’s plan: “That would make Donald Trump very happy if all of a sudden everything was just inconclusive. You know, that happens elsewhere in the world where foreign adversaries to democracy or domestic enemies of democracy try to dismantle it.”

To really envision just how much peril U.S. democracy is in, Reid prompted: “And just to build on that a little bit, Michael, what are some of the other worst-case scenarios?” She then listed off the most terrifying nightmare a liberal could imagine: “…the idea that Donald Trump suddenly wins Vermont and the Vermont government is saying hold on a second, Donald Trump can't win Vermont and that's what people think and they can't certify.”

Weiss responded with something slightly less terrifying: “One worst-case scenario which was war gamed by the United States is what if they go in and you, Joy Reid, they find your home address and change the home address, wherever you're registered to vote, I assume New York. You turn up to the voting booth, your polling place with the wrong address.” He went on: “…this is going cause chaos, it’s going to cause a crisis.” He then proceeded down the rabbit hole speculating: “Because it’s not just the Russians that are going to start futzing with American democracy.”

But of course, Reid concluded the conversation by predicting political doom for the President: “Yeah—or the question of Donald Trump’s legitimacy will become even bleaker after an election that people were wonder whether it was free and fair. So for himself, he might want to get on board with protecting his country.”

Here is the transcript for the July 26 episode of The Last Word:

The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

07/26/19

10:28:11 PM ET

EVAN MCMULLIN [CO-FOUNDER, STAND UP REPUBLIC]: And Michael is pointing out something that's also very important about what will happen if there is hacking again, and there certainly will be in 2020. I don't believe that we can say anymore, and it's uncomfortable, that we had a free and fair election in 2016 in America. Think about that. The gravity of that. But I think that the American people can look past that. We can move beyond it if it just happens once and in the next cycle we have an election without these irregularities and so on. But if what happens in 2016 or more or something different but also a foreign attack on our democracy happens again in 2020, we are facing a situation in our country where our elections no longer will have popular legitimacy. And in that scenario, we lose control and we are not -- we are no longer free. That's what's on the verge of happening. The Russians don't have to change votes to do that. All they have to do is to hack the voter rolls again. Maybe they do it a little bit deeper, a little more widespread this time. Then all of a sudden state governments can't certify the results of election. That would make Donald Trump very happy if all of a sudden everything was just inconclusive. You know, that happens elsewhere in the world where foreign adversaries to democracy or domestic enemies of democracy try to dismantle it. And that's what we're facing now in the country.

JOY REID:  And just to build on that a little bit, Michael, what are some of the other worst-case scenarios? I mean, I was talking earlier -- did an interview earlier in which the idea that Donald Trump suddenly wins Vermont and the Vermont government is saying hold on a second, Donald Trump can't win Vermont and that's what people think and they can't certify. Do the Russians actually have to change votes or just scare people or could it be actually disenfranchisement, deleting people from the voter rolls? Give us the worse-case scenarios.

MICHAEL WEISS [THE DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST]: Changing votes is actually quite hard to do. But again, they don't have to do that, they just have to compromise the election itself by penetrating the election infrastructure, manipulating data. One worst-case scenario which was war gamed by the United States is what if they go in and you, Joy Reid, they find your home address and change the home address, wherever you're registered to vote, I assume New York. You turn up to the voting booth, your polling place with the wrong address. You might get a provisional ballot but this is going cause chaos, its going to cause a crisis. Where people will say wait a minute, this is where I live what are you telling me this is not my home address. So again, they don't have to even change check marks against Donald Trump's name versus whoever the Democratic candidate is going to be. There's a host of other things they can do. One just final point. You know, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans, I think they believe they're picking up a very powerful stick to bash the Democrats over the head with in 2020 but what they're doing is picking up a boomerang. Because it’s not just the Russians that are going to start futzing with American democrary. The Iranians might decide one day, "We don't quite like the sanctions regime that this President’s imposed on our economy; why don't we start hacking the emails of Republican chiefs of staff or Republican senators or Republican congressmen." You know, one of these bills was meant to protect all legislators from cyber intrusion. If they do that, then won't the Republicans look silly for saying well we had the opportunity to indemnify ourselves and we chose not to.

JOY REID: Yeah—or the question of Donald Trump’s legitimacy will become even bleaker after an election that people were wonder whether it was free and fair. So for himself, he might want to get on board with protecting his country.

MSNBC The Last Word Video Joy Reid Donald Trump
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