House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) compared President Donald Trump on Sunday to 20th century Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking on CNN, Clyburn claimed Trump will consolidate power after the November election, no matter the result, much like Putin has done in Russia over recent years.
"What I said, starting about two-and-a-half, maybe three years ago, after one of his State of the Unions, that I feel very strongly that this man has taken on strong-arm tactics," Clyburn began.
"And I feel very strongly that he is Mussolini, Putin, is [Adolf] Hitler. I said that back then, and I believe that," he claimed.
"I believe very strongly that this guy never had any idea about being — want to peacefully transfer power. I don't think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn't plan to have fair and unfettered elections," Clyburn continued. "I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue hold onto office."
“I don’t think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections. I believe… https://t.co/M6G6eBarPK— State of the Union (@State of the Union)1596377318.0
Trump sparked alarm last week when he suggested delaying the election, fueling his critics to make claims similar to Clyburn's.
"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" Trump said.
The president's controversial comments came amid discussion about how to conduct the election in a safe manner during the coronavirus panic.
Due to social distancing requirements and limits on public gatherings, Democrats are pushing mail-in voting as an alternative, which Republicans claim would increase voter fraud.
At any rate, Trump is not lawfully permitted to change the date of the election — that power resides with Congress, according to the Constitution.
Nor is Trump constitutionally permitted to unilaterally remain in office beyond Jan. 20 if he loses the election. The Constitution dictates that presidential terms end on a specific date, which can only be changed via a constitutional amendment.