Trump is already hinting he may refuse to leave office if voted out. The Senate must be ready to protect democracy

Donald Trump’s declaration that he might not accept the results of the 2020 election has fundamentally transformed the campaign, making plain what had only previously been suspected. No other president has ever made such a statement.

“I have to see,” said Trump in an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News on 19 July, after Wallace asked him if he would accept the election outcome. “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.” Indeed, in 2016, Trump claimed that the election was being “rigged” against him.

Trump has sought to subvert the 2020 election through every conceivable effort at voter suppression

Related: Trump’s greatest trick? Distracting us all from his incoherence | Arwa Mahdawi

Sidney Blumenthal is the author of All the Powers of Earth, A Self-Made Man, and Wrestling with His Angel, the first three volumes in his five-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. He is a former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. He has been a national staff reporter for the Washington Post, Washington editor and writer for the New Yorker and senior editor of The New Republic

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