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It’s not so much that CNN political analyst April Ryan is dishonest in her analysis of President Donald Trump, after all, her hatred for the man is obvious, but the fact she can do so on the network without so much as a hint of restraint is troubling.
In a segment on CNN Newsroom, hosted by Ana Cabrera, Ryan was joined by Never Trumper Bill Kristol to hyperventilate over Trump’s recent comments about mail-in ballots and the possibility of delaying the November election — the president doesn’t have such authority — when Ryan distorted reality to claim Trump has said he’ll not leave office if he loses the election.
(The president raised the issue of delaying the election as a tactic to draw attention to Democrats’ dogged pursuit of nationwide voting by mail, which would entail the wide-scale mailing of tens of millions of ballots.)
After complaining about Trump expressing concerns about voter suppression via fraud, Ryan said America will be watching a “split screen” with the inauguration of Joe Biden on one screen and “police and armed forces trying to pull Donald Trump out of the White House” on the other.
“Going back to the issue of January 20th, about the president not leaving — Maya Angelou said, ‘If they show you who they are, believe them.’ The president has said before, in many tweets, that he wasn’t going, he said it months ago. Joe Biden has even acknowledged it. And it’s real,” Ryan said.
“So there’s going to be a split screen on January 20th, 2021,” she continued. “If Joe Biden is now going to be the 46th president of the United States, you will have him being inaugurated and watching police and armed forces trying to pull Donald Trump out of the White House. I cannot wait for that split screen.”
The reference to Biden appears to be in response to a June appearance on the Daily Show, when he said of Trump, “I am absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House in a… with great dispatch.”
As for the tweets, there are two that Ryan seems to be taking out of context. In one, Trump quipped about the people demanding he stay longer:
In another, the president retweeted a post from Jerry Falwell about him getting two additional years for the Democratic Party’s “failed coup” during his first two years in office.
After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump – no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring. I now support reparations-Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup
— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) May 5, 2019
Not that Ryan mentioned any speeches, but there was a speech Trump gave at the Israeli-American Council National Summit in December 2019 where he joked about not leaving.
“At some point, whether it’s 5 years from now, 9 years from now, 13 years from now — I’m doing this to drive the media crazy,” Trump said. “Because a lot of them say, ‘You know he’s not leaving, don’t you?’ One of these characters, these people are so stupid. One of them said — one of them said, ‘You know he’s going to win, don’t you? And you know, at the end of his second term, you know he’s not leaving. He’s not leaving. You know that.’ And I thought he’s a comedian. I thought he was kidding. He’s for real. So now we have to start thinking about that, because it’s not a bad idea.”
And people like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are still talking about it.
“Whether he knows it yet or not, he will be leaving,” she said last month during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“There is a process,” she said of the U.S. electoral system. “It has nothing to do with a certain occupant of the White House doesn’t feel like moving and has to be fumigated out of there.”
And former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod is doing his part to fan those flames — anything to scare unmotivated Democratic voters to the polls.
Here’s what seems clear. Unless he wins, the @POTUS will claim the election was “rigged,” “fixed” and “fraudulent” and contest it for as long as he possibly can.
This will be one more major challenge for @JoeBiden, as he prepares to deal with a pandemic and economic disaster.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 30, 2020
Hell, the Boston Globe just played “a Washington version of Dungeons and Dragons in which the future of the republic hangs in the balance,” gaming out such a scenario.
There's an excellent story in the @BostonGlobe today about a bipartisan group of experts, scholars and former military folks role playing if Trump refuses to leave office this fall. It's not pretty. #Thread https://t.co/TDysPKQ5y1
— Dr. Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) July 29, 2020
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