Accuracy in Media

Four years later, Politico revived the theory that President Donald Trump will not concede if he loses the 2020 presidential election and stirred up fears of a “constitutional crisis in the making.”

Politico headlined their false narrative, “Trump sees a ‘rigged election’ ahead. Democrats see a constitutional crisis in the making.” The article cited Trump’s tweets about the 2020 election becoming the “greatest Rigged Election in history” and highlighted “Trump’s increasingly amped-up rhetoric surrounding the integrity of the November election.”

It cited Trump’s opponents’ fears that he “may attempt to undermine the results of the election if he loses – or worse, might attempt to cling to power regardless of the outcome.” For example, the news outlet quoted a former Obama official who said that Trump “is planting the seeds for delegitimizing the election if he loses.”

The article also quoted a Bernie Sanders supporter, a former Democratic congressman, and a university professor to support its narrative. When Politico asked the Trump campaign for a quote, campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said that the accusation is “baseless, ridiculous conspiracy talk and they should go see [Democrats] Hillary Clinton or Stacey Abrams because they actually have openly questioned their own election results.” Politico did not verify Murtaugh’s statement, which was true because both Clinton and Abrams have publicly disputed their electoral losses.

Ironically, Politico acknowledged that this is the same narrative that the Democratic Party and the mainstream media promoted in 2016. The news outlet briefly mentioned that this narrative “has persisted as an undercurrent in the Democratic Party since 2016” after Trump “refused to say if he would accept the election’s outcome if he lost.” Yet Politico’s admission did not stop the news outlet from hyping the potential for Trump allegedly “delegitimizing the election if he loses.”

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