Longtime Republican strategist and Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt on Tuesday said America is in a dangerous hour and warned that president Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the election result “was a failed coup” that would result in him attempting another.
“It was a failed coup,” he continued. “The way you get to the second coup in most countries is by having your first unsuccessful one,” he said in an interview with MSNBC.
Mr Schmidt, who registered as a Democrat after nearly 30 years with the Republican Party, went on to say there is only one pro-democracy political party in the country and “that is the Democratic party.”
Mr Schmidt had renounced the GOP in 2018 and identified himself as an independent, and has since been one of the president’s fiercest critics.
Slamming the attorney generals of the 18 red states who joined Texas in the lawsuit before the Supreme Court, Mr Schmidt said: “What happened in the month of November premeditatedly, deliberately, faith and belief in American democracy was poisoned by President Trump, culminating with 126 members of the House of Representatives and 18 Republicans attorney generals signing an amicus brief to a garbage lawsuit that is, in essence, a declaration of repudiation of American democracy.”
The amicus brief was signed by 126 House Republicans.
“Do not look at their signing onto that amicus brief as some type of legal action. It was not. It was a political declaration," he said. "And the political declaration was one in where they turn their backs on the tradition of American democracy. We should understand what we’re looking at.”
He described the violence in Washington DC during the weekend as “fascistic, political, right-wing extremist” in which eight police officers were injured and four others stabbed. The violence erupted in several locations in DC following a “Stop the Steal” rally in support of Mr Trump's repeated and baseless allegations of electoral fraud.
“The pro-democracy side of the political debate can never again lose a presidential election to a pro-autocracy side because there may not be an election after that,” the former Republican cautioned.
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