"He is somebody who needs to be right all the time and needs to be winning all the time, and will need desperately to spin away from a crushing defeat."
In an interview on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Thursday evening, Mary L. Trump warned viewers that anything less than a "resounding" victory for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in November will make it all the more likely that her uncle, President Donald Trump, refuses to leave the White House.
Mary Trump, the daughter of Trump's late brother, released her book about the president earlier this week. The tell-all, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man," describes Trump as openly racist and incapable of admitting errors or shortcomings. As Mary Trump told Maddow, "I don't think that should surprise anybody, given how virulently racist he is today."
Far more pressing for the American public and for Biden's campaign to consider, the president's niece said, is the danger of allowing Trump to win re-election or to lose by a slim enough margin that he can claim that Biden does not have a mandate to take over as president.
As Maddow noted, a number of political observers have expressed fears that Trump will refuse to leave the White House even if Biden wins the election on November 3.
"I think it's perfectly reasonable to worry about that, but how he responds depends a lot on if he loses, how badly he loses," Trump said. "I think the more resounding a Joe Biden victory, the less likely it is for Donald to stick around. He is somebody who needs to be right all the time and needs to be winning all the time, and will need desperately to spin away from a crushing defeat."
"As far as I'm concerned," Trump continued, a decisive victory for Biden "is the only way to--not guarantee--but at least give us a better possibility that there will be a peaceful transition after the election."
Trump's warning echoed an article written by Ed Kilgore at New York magazine earlier this week titled "Joe Biden Needs to Win Big to Avoid a Contested Election."
The Democratic Party must prepare for Trump to contest election results, Kilgore wrote, particularly since he has called into question the use of mail-in ballots, which many states have already used during the primaries due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Anything other than a landslide may lead Donald Trump to contest the results on the phony-baloney grounds that the mail ballots almost certain to be cast in large numbers are fraudulent and represent a 'rigged' election he actually won," Kilgore wrote.
Because polls are also indicating a partisan divide regarding willingness to vote by mail as the president calls the process into question--and mail-in votes cast largely by Democratic voters will likely be counted after in-person votes, Kilgore wrote, "misleading early returns may show Trump and other Republicans doing much better than they will eventually do, enabling Trump to claim fraud when those evil mail ballots turn it all around for Biden and his Democrats."
"Anyone doubting this is a plausible scenario needs to look back to 2018, when Republican congressional leaders Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy made specious claims of voter fraud when late-arriving mail ballots predictably shifted the results in key House races in California," he added. "It could have been a dress rehearsal for what might happen this November."
Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million votes, but he won key battleground states including Wisconsin and Michigan, securing an electoral college victory.
A similar result could have the same effect as a clear victory for the president, Mary Trump told Maddow, saying that Trump's retention of power would "be the end of the American experiment."
"I do not believe there's any coming back from this" if Trump wins re-election, the president's niece said. "There are too many enablers who are for whatever reason continuing to enable him. Bill Barr has gutted the Justice Department, Mike Pompeo has gutted the State Department. We are in serious danger here."