The suggestion that President Trump will “barricade himself in the West Wing” if he loses his bid for reelection is “ridiculous” and “absurd,” Fox News contributor Karl Rove said Wednesday on “Hannity.”
“These people ought to be ashamed of themselves,” Rove said. “I mean, talk about stirring up emotion and fearmongering.”
The former deputy White House chief of staff under George W. Bush was commenting on a montage of commentators raising the possibility that Trump would have to be forcibly removed from office should be be defeated in November.
Most notably, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., claimed this week that Trump “does not plan to go quietly if he is not reelected” and added that he does not believe Trump would “go quietly” after the 2024 election should he win a second term, saying the military may have to come up with a plan to remove him
Rove said Wednesday night he was “terribly disappointed” in what Clyburn had said.
“Here is a guy who, without a shred of evidence, just because he believes that, he’s going to say it and says the most horrific things about about his political opponent. I get that he doesn’t like him. He’s from the opposite party,” Rove said. “But have we really gotten to a point where we could have … the third-ranking Democrat in the House go out there and say the most extraordinarily bizarre things and the media just simply sit there and say, ‘Well, you know, you may be right.’?”
Rove pointed out that the theory that Trump would refuse to leave office “assumes that there’s a conspiracy afoot.”
“[It assumes] the people who work in the West Wing, like a Larry Kudlow, the National Economic Director or the White House legal counsel or [White House Chief of Staff] Mark Meadows, they’re all in on this, because you can’t barricade yourself in the White House all by yourself. So they’re assuming that maybe the secretary of defense is involved in all of this, maybe after all this it’s going to be a military takeover. I mean, this is so ridiculous and so absurd.”
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.