In a “chilling” interview with Fox News, Donald Trump has suggested he could reject the 2020 presidential election results if he loses to Joe Biden in November.
The president was roundly condemned by critics following the grilling on Sunday by Chris Wallace, who repeatedly pressed Mr Trump on his false claims and misleading statements.
“This is the most chilling part of the interview. We need to be ready,” Richard Stengel, a former senior diplomat in the Obama administration, said of Mr Trump musings on whether to accept the election
Mr Trump’s interview over the weekend occurred as America continued its descent into crisis over the escalating coronavirus pandemic, which has already killed more than 140,000 people in the country.
Donald Trump condemned protests in Portland, Oregon, and violence in “Democrat-run” cities on Sunday as his Republican administration moves to intervene in urban centres he says have lost control of anti-racism demonstrations.
Federal law enforcement officers, armed with a new executive order aimed at protecting US monuments, last week started cracking down on crowds gathering in Portland to protest police brutality and systemic racism.
After a chaotic night in Portland that saw a police association building set on fire and officers shooting tear gas at a group of mothers protesting police brutality, Mr Trump and Portland’s mayor traded barbs over who was to blame for the escalating unrest.
“We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE,” Mr Trump wrote in a Twitter post.
Facing declining polling numbers before his 3 November election against Democrat Joe Biden, Mr Trump is making “law and order” a central campaign issue to appeal to critical suburban voters.