According to a report from the Daily Beast, national security officials in Donald Trump’s administration are “horrified” by his accusations that there has been voter fraud in the 2020 election and are making plans for what to do should he refuse to step down if he loses.
After Trump made a national address on Thursday night making baseless charges about “illegal ballots” being cast, the Beast reports national security officials both in and out of the administration are saying the president’s comments are making their worst nightmares come true.
“Top national security officials say they have spent the days since the election tracking disinformation about the vote count, including Team Trump’s efforts to erode trust in the ballot tallying and reporting process. Despite working with the big social media companies to flag some of those falsities, officials say there is little they can do to prevent the president’s team from propagating disinformation in public—from Twitter to nationally televised press conferences,” the report from Erin Banco and Adam Rawnsley reports. ” With increasingly flagrant efforts by Trump to cast doubt on the vote tallies, officials are preparing for how to handle a situation in which the race is officially called for Joe Biden—and Trump refuses to concede.”
According to Dan Coats, the former director of national intelligence under Trump, the president is treading on dangerous ground.
“What’s happened here in the election is that people are standing up for integrity of the vote. The public seems to be assured enough that the legitimate ballots are being counted. The result will be what the result is,” he explained. “Candidates can say whatever they want to say but in the end it’s the facts that matter. The winner wins and the loser hopefully understands that with grace and accepts the loss.”
The report goes on to note that officials in the administration are gaming out what would happen if the president refused to accept the will of the voters.
With one official stating, “Based on what we saw today on Twitter and elsewhere… there’s a chance that things get even worse and we have to be prepared,” the report continues, “If that happens, according to two officials familiar with the matter, one of the options would be to have the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security make a public statement reaffirming the integrity of the results of the vote. Officials said there is no such plan currently in place but officials have discussed the possibility.”