Jake Tapper Calls Out Trump’s Attempts to ‘Inflame’ Supporters With Election Conspiracies: ‘Real Risk’ It Could Lead to Violence


A CNN panel of Jake Tapper, Abby Phillip, and Dana Bash weighed in on President Donald Trump’s ongoing strategy of stoking false claims of fraud and attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election results.

Trump spent a second day after the election personally staying out of the public eye while flip-flopping back and forth in a whiplash-inducing narrative that pinged between anti-democratic threats like “STOP THE COUNT” to nonsensical, baseless claims like “IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN!” Meanwhile, Trump surrogate’s claims of voter fraud in Georgia fell apart when pressed for actual evidence, and Michigan a judge laughed a Trump campaign’s legal challenge out of court.

“Whatever the president says it’s not going to affect the counting of the votes. We have a system where states are in charge of this,” Tapper pointed out, before pivoting to the possible ugly consequences of Trump’s incendiary rhetoric. “States often give that power to counties, and the counting is going on. The question is will President Trump’s continued desire to inflame tensions by making patently false allegations about this election and about the integrity of our very democracy — will that inflame his supporters so much that there will be violence? That is the real risk, and that is what the people around the president have got to think about when they keep him from going public because they don’t want there to be Americans physically hurt.”

Phillip then recalled Trump’s 2016 Election Night acceptance speech and how its tone is echoed four years later in the president’s angry lashing out.

“There was a choice beforehand in that moment. Inflame tensions or kind of take a different tone, avoid stepping on some of these land mines,” Phillip noted. “He chose to inflame tensions, and the reporting is it was against the advice of many of his advisers. The question is will it go even further?”

“You know where the GOP is, with the basic rule of democracy, which is count the votes,” Bash said moments later. “Even the president’s most ardent defenders in congress that we’ve seen and heard from on policy issues and even on some of the kind of personality things that the president has had, it’s crickets for them. There is a reason for that. And it is because what we’re seeing is each state and commonwealth doing the job required of them. Doing it well, doing it slowly. And one thing I want to add to what Kaitlin [Collins] was saying is, although there are certainly people around the president keeping him at bay, keep him from going out, others I’m told are worried about he’s ceding the presidential space.”

Tapper agreed. “All these election workers doing their jobs some of them Republican, some of them Democrats,” he said. “Lots of people just doing the work. There are Republican and Democratic observers in all these spaces. That’s why there’s not this rising up, this revolution of Republican members in congress and senate because they know the process is working.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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