As GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump continues to push his theory that the election process is “rigged,” his supporters seem to be winding up, angry at the media, as well as the American electoral system.
At a Saturday rally in New Hampshire, Trump told the crowd:
“Remember this, it’s a rigged election because you have phony people coming up with phony allegations with no witnesses whatsoever. The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her (Clinton) president.”
Sunday afternoon, Trump tweeted the following:
The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Trump’s insistence that the election is being rigged by the media–and even at the polls–has sent some of his voters into unnerving territory. The Boston Globe quotes Trump supporter Dan Bowman:
“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it…We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take.”
At an event in Iowa Tuesday, a woman stood up and spoke to Trump’s vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (R-IN):
“Our lives depend on this election. Our kids’ futures depend on this election, and I will tell you just for me–and I don’t want this to happen–but I will tell you for me personally, if Hillary Clinton gets in, I myself, I’m ready for a revolution because we can’t have her in…What are we going to do to safeguard our votes? Because we’ve seen how the Democratic Party is just crooked, crooked, crooked.”
Pence tried to downplay the statement, but the women got some applause when she continued to press the vice presidential candidate.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani twisted himself into knots trying to explain to host Jake Tapper the reality of election fraud, while suggesting that, despite his words and tweets, Trump’s rhetoric isn’t actually about fraud at the polls, but about the biased media:
GIULIANI: “When he talks about a rigged election, he’s not talking about the fact that it’s going to be rigged at the polls. What he’s talking about is that 80% – 85% of the media is against him…He makes it clear; he points right at you, at the press. He makes it clear who he thinks is rigging the election.”
TAPPER: “Then why does he call for people to go to polling places to be election monitors? Why does he say ‘If I lose Pennsylvania, it will be because it was stolen?'”
After a protracted discussion in which Giuliani and Tapper debated election fraud, the host concluded by saying: “So, he’s not talking about elections being stolen, except in some cases when he is talking about elections being stolen.”
Donald Trump has floated the idea of a rigged system since the primaries. When he lost to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in Iowa, he tweeted: “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he illegally stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong any why he got more votes than anticipated. Bad!” After the Colorado state convention didn’t go as planned, Trump said it was because of a “rigged, disgusting, dirty system.” It goes on and on.
Now that his poll numbers are taking a nosedive, Trump is simply upping the ante so that if he loses on November 8th, he can pacify his ego, and keep his supporters fuming, claiming the “rigged” system is to blame. What comes next is anyone’s guess.