Democrats using influence operations to undermine Trump
A number of organizations and officials in opposition to President Donald Trump appear to have launched a pre-election campaign to undermine the possibility of a second Trump term. The storyline is that the president cannot win the 2020 election, therefore, anything he does short of leaving office is a violation of democratic norms.
A group calling itself the “Transition Integrity Project” is an organization made up of partisan Democrats along with a few anti-Trump Republicans. That group has insinuated itself into the election by claiming that Trump is a “threat to democracy.”
“The Transition Integrity Project was launched in late 2019 out of concern that the Trump Administration may seek to manipulate, ignore, undermine or disrupt the 2020 presidential election and transition process,” says its report, that has been widely quoted throughout the news media.
Transition Integrity Project has held war-game election scenarios for the purpose of advising Democrats on how to remove the president from office — not defeating the president in the election process — but declaring him defeated and physically removing him. While the war-games were supposed to be confidential, intentional media leaks have indicated that Democrats may recommend western states secede, and possibly asking the military to remove Trump from office.
Critics warn that this is a very dangerous game Democrats are playing. Anti-Trump news media, “Never Trump” Republicans, and elected Democrats have all said that Trump cannot win the 2020 election and if he does win, it is because he “stole” the election and is, therefore, “illegitimate.”
Critics say that this argument strips the president of his right to demand a fair counting of votes while awarding the challenger, Joe Biden, with the presumption of victory – under all circumstances.
This notion is becoming more widespread. Earlier this month a retired army officer wrote an open letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley. In that letter, Lt.Col. John Nagl (ret) made provocative and incendiary remarks that contain multiple conspiracy theories:
“Due to a dangerous confluence of circumstances, the once-unthinkable scenario of authoritarian rule in the United States is now a very real possibility. First, as Mr. Trump faces near certain electoral defeat, he is vigorously undermining public confidence in our elections. Second, Mr. Trump’s defeat would result in his facing not merely political ignominy, but also criminal charges. Third, Mr. Trump is assembling a private army capable of thwarting not only the will of the electorate but also the capacities of ordinary law enforcement.”
One active-duty military officer told American Wire, on condition of anonymity, that he would not take such a letter “seriously.” However, others say this cannot be easily dismissed. When Nagl was on active-duty, he was an architect of the new structure of the Department of Defense counter-insurgency policy developed in 2006. Nagl’s open-letter to Milley, which appeared in the publication Defense One, seems to be advising an insurgency on how to undermine the president.
Nagl accuses the president using “militarized Homeland Security agents” against “domestic political demonstrations” and claims that the agency is now Trump’s personal militia.
Nagl attempts to deputize Milley for what seems like a Democrat Party election strategy that mimics an insurgency influence operation:
“If Donald Trump refuses to leave office at the expiration of his constitutional term, the United States military must remove him by force, and you must give that order.”
Analysis of that statement suggests that Nagl does not account for the possibility of Trump winning the election, only that he be removed at the end of this term.
Last week, Milley testified to the House Armed Services Committee and said:
“In the event of a dispute over some aspect of the elections, by law U.S. courts and the U.S. Congress are required to resolve any disputes, not the U.S. military. I foresee no role for the U.S armed forces in this process.”
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