What Trump Is Saying Ahead Of The Election Is ‘Dangerous,’ Ex-Federal Official Argues


Kate Bedingfield, a former communications official in the Biden administration, warned during a discussion on CNN this week that some of the latest rhetoric from former President Donald Trump was a “fundamentally dangerous” thing in terms of democracy in the U.S. as we know it.

We “were talking about leadership,” she said. “I mean this is – that is because Donald Trump has hammered over and over again this lie that the election in 2020 was stolen. I don’t think there are a lot of suburban housewives who are saying, you know, who are on their own sort of going out and saying, ‘I dispute the results of the election in Arizona.’ That’s a function of Donald Trump and his people going out and telling lies about what happened in 2020. And now you have an interview where he’s saying, essentially, if I don’t like the outcome of this election, I’m going to do that again. That is a fundamentally dangerous thing.”

Bedingfield was referring to recent interviews that Trump did with TIME amid which he, startlingly, declined to outright condemn the possibility of political violence if the presidential election later this year goes unfavorably for his campaign.

Trump’s specific question was as follows: “Mr. President, in our last conversation you said you weren’t worried about political violence in connection with the November election. You said, “I think we’re going to win and there won’t be violence.” What if you don’t win, sir?”

And here’s part of what Trump replied to the journalist: “I think we’re going to win. And if we don’t win, you know, it depends. It always depends on the fairness of an election. I don’t believe they’ll be able to do the things that they did the last time.” The rhetoric directly mirrors the evident attempts at justifications/excuses that Trump was sharing in the context of the Capitol violence of early 2021 on the very day that it happened, explaining it all as some kind of natural outcome of (imaginary) fraud in the 2020 presidential race.