House Majority Whip James Clyburn likened President Donald Trump to Italian fascist Benito Mussolini on Sunday, insisting the commander in chief has no plans to leave the White House if he loses in November. During an interview Sunday morning on CNN’s State of the Union, host Dana Bash asked the South Carolina Democrat about a PBS interview that aired Friday in which he said “Trump thinks that the American people will be duped by him, like the people of Germany was duped by Adolf Hitler.” When Bash asked whether Clyburn really though Trump “is comparable to Adolf Hitler,” the No. 3 House Democrat did not shy away from comparing the president to a brutal totalitarian although the historical reference changed. “I feel very strongly that this man has taken on strong-arm tactics. And I feel very strongly that he is Mussolini,” Clyburn said. “Putin is Hitler.”
Clyburn went on to explain that he thinks Trump will try to cling on to power. “I believe very strongly that this guy never had any idea about being—want to peacefully transfer power. I don’t think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections,” Clyburn said. “I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue hold onto office.” Clyburn went on to call on Americans to “wake up” because history is full of warning sings. “I know a little bit about history, and I know how countries find their demise. It is when we fail to let democracy and the fundamentals of which is a fair, unfettered election. And that’s why he is trying to put a cloud over this election, floating the idea of postponing the elections,” Clyburn said.
Trump has received lots of pushback, including from fellow Republicans, after his tweet last week in which he suggested postponing the presidential election. Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson insisted the election date would not change. “It’s not helpful for the president to think out loud in a public fashion and express some frustration,” Hutchinson said. “Obviously, as everyone has indicated, there shouldn’t be any change in the date of the election. That is historic. It is constitutional. It is required. And it’s up to the states to conduct fair elections with integrity.” Although Trump later appeared to backtrack and say that he didn’t want to change the date of the election he has refused to outright say whether he would accept the results of the election. “I have to see,” Trump said in an interview with Chris Wallace last month. When pressed on whether he would accept the results, Trump refused to give a straight answer. “No, I’m not going to just say yes,” Trump said. “I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”
For more of Slate’s news coverage, subscribe to What Next on Apple Podcasts or listen below.
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary, and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.
Join Slate Plus