President Donald Trump is vowing to crush any ‘riots’ that occur among opposition should he be declared the winner on Election night – saying he would ‘put it down within minutes.’
Trump was asked about the hypothetical scenario by Fox News host Jeanine Pirro – who mentioned ‘threats’ of riots without providing specifics.
‘Let’s say there are threats. They say that they are going to threaten riots if they lose on election night, assuming we get a winner on election night. What are you going to do?’ the host asked him.
President Donald Trump said he would put down any election night riots ‘within minutes’ if they were to occur and he is announced the winner that night
‘We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that. We have the right to do that. We have the power to do that if we want,’ said Trump, sitting for an interview at the White House during a week when his team was rocked by bombshell recordings by author and journalist Bob Woodward.
Rather than downplay the possibility, Trump took the hypothetical, continuing: ‘Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send in, and we do it very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to, we’d do that and put it down within minutes. Within minutes,’ Trump said, in a clip posted by Politico.
Trump has repeatedly gone after ‘rioters’ and ‘looters’ who he said are rival Joe Biden supporters.
He has sent in federal agents to cities suffering rioting and property destruction in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd.
He famously posed with a bible outside St. John’s Church across from the White House after authorities deployed tear gas on peaceful protesters.
Trump’s use of the term ‘insurrection’ recalls his administration’s threat to use the Insurrection Act to use military forces put down disturbances.
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro asked Trump how he would respond if opponents ‘threaten riots if they lose on election night’
A protester dances around a fire set by protesters while burning a peace sign near the Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon during another night of protests in the city. Portland Protest, Oregon, U.S. – 19 Jul 2020
‘If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,’ Trump said in June.
Last month, after declaring mail-in voting ‘fraudulent,’ Trump tweeted: ‘Must know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!’
Some election experts have begun giving warnings that the president could try to declare victory on election night based on in-person votes, even as millions of mail-in ballots get counted. Mail ballot requests and early voting in battlegrounds is already revealing a pronounced advantage for Democrats in those categories.
Biden currently leads in polls nationally as well as in key battleground states.