Like you, Hillary Clinton is a little worried that President Trump will pull a fast one if he loses re-election in November.
The former First Lady, Secretary of State, senator, and presidential hopeful was a guest on The Daily Show Monday night, chatting with host Trevor Noah remotely from her very well-lit home about covid-19, her Hulu documentary series, and the 2020 election.
“A lot of the time I find myself wondering what you’re doing and where you are as a human being,” Noah began. “Because I know if I was you in your position, I would just spend most of my time tweeting ‘I told you so’ and I then I would walk around the streets just telling people, ‘it could have been me, it could have been me!’”
Clinton laughed. “Well, before the lockdown I was doing all of that,” she said. “There’s probably video.”
The conversation quickly progressed to the presidential election and voter suppression. Noah asked about Trump’s distrust of vote-by-mail and how that could impact the general election. Clinton explained that the skepticism is a voter suppression tactic that is part and parcel with the Republican Party’s strategy for winning in November.
“[They’ll] try to prevent as many people who they think won’t vote for them from voting,” Clintons said. “Make the lines really long where young people vote, or African Americans vote, or Hispanics vote. [They’ll] try to make vote-by-mail as difficult as possible, claim it’s fraudulent when indeed it’s not.”
Noah asked if there’s a chance Trump will use miscellaneous stories of mail-in voting mishaps to delegitimize the election results if his Democratic contender, Joe Biden, is elected in November.
“I think it’s a fair point to raise, as to whether or not—if he loses—he’s going to go quietly or not,” Clinton said. “And we have to be ready for that.”
The speculation about whether Trump will vacate the White House without issue has grown in recent weeks, as polls show Biden maintaining a lead in both national and battleground state polls. In June, Biden speculated that Trump would only vacate his position via military escort. Trump denied this, telling Fox News, “If I don’t win, I don’t win.” He added that he would simply “go on, do other things.” In other words, he’d continue to be a Twitter loudmouth with a cult-like following, but with a fraction of the stressors that the presidency entails. Still, his vow hasn’t halted the theorizing over what would happen if Trump loses the election and refuses to leave the White House in January 2021, and Trump’s ramblings about the evils of vote-by-mail—the safest way to vote during the covid-19 pandemic—don’t quiet down the unease towards Trump potentially defying the constitution.
But Clinton said that, ultimately, handwringing over vote-by-mail is misguided. The real danger, she said, is an attempt to keep the vote down, like requiring identification.
“That’s the real danger to the integrity of our election,” Clinton said. “That, combined with misinformation and disinformation and all of the online shenanigans that we saw in 2016.”
Clinton said that if Trump is victorious, she’ll accept it, albeit unhappily. But she’s optimistic that won’t come to fruition.
“I think the more people who can actually get to the polls—whether by mail or in person—and get their votes counted, then we’re going to have the kind of election we should have,” Clinton said. “It’ll be a win in the popular vote and the electoral college.”