Today's Morning Joe came close to accusing President Trump of plotting a coup d'etat to remain in office if he loses the election in November.
The President has been openly critical of the loosened vote-by-mail measures that Democrats have proposed, suggesting that vote-by-mail facilitates voter fraud. Since the individual states control voting rules, many states are likely to adopt such measures in time for the November election.
Joe Scarborough suggested to John Heilemann that Trump's criticism of vote-by-mail indicates that he is "preparing already to undermine any results that may be unfavorable to him in the fall."
Heilemann not only agreed, but took it a stunning step further: "If he loses the election, he will stand up and say, 'This election was rife with fraud. We had way too much vote by mail. I do not accept the results of the election.' I guarantee you that President Trump is thinking already about trying to build that predicate so that he can dispute the result of the election on this basis."
Here's the exchange:
7:54 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Is this Donald Trump also maybe preparing, for those states that do vote by mail, preparing already to undermine any results that may be unfavorable to him in the fall?
JOHN HEILEMANN: Yes. Super important, Joe. I think on Friday when you saw President Trump asked in the briefing about whether he favored these efforts that are now under way all over the country to try to extend vote-by-mail, the president said I’m not for vote-by-mail. It’s a recipe for corruption. I think you should have to show up at a polling place with an ID Card with your picture on it. That's the only vote that’s legitimate. That's what Trump said on Friday. Now, apparently he doesn’t realize that 50-some million voted by mail in 2016. So, we already have widespread vote-by-mail in this country. I'm sure everyone watching the show knows.
But Trump is basically trying to say that vote-by-mail itself is inherently illegitimate. And that is a way for him, I think, to start laying down the predicate for, in an election where there's no doubt there's going to be more absentee balloting and more vote-by-mail than there ever has been before. He's laying down the predicate so if he loses the election in November, he will stand up and say, this election was rife with fraud. We had way too much vote-by-mail. I do not accept the results of the election. I guarantee you that President Trump is thinking already about trying to build that predicate so he can dispute the legitimacy of the election on this basis.
So Heilemann can "guarantee" that President Trump is thinking of ways to refuse to accept an election loss! Amazing powers of mind-reading. Also, an exceptionally insidious accusation against the president.