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HEILEMANN: “Mika, I haven’t heard from the Attorney General either, although I’ll guess that the Attorney General, given past practice, will be on Donald Trump’s side here. Everything that’s been said about this particular issue, I think, is right, but doesn’t go far enough. You know, we are talking — this is not just performative authoritarianism, this is authoritarianism. These are paramilitary units, these are the kinds of things we have seen in tyrannical, authoritarian regimes in third-world countries throughout the second half of the 20th century. This is not a mystery, what’s going on here. And I think to look at this through the prism of symbolic politics, the law and order campaign, Trump trying to rerun the Nixon playbook is true, but doesn’t, as I say, go far enough. We’re looking, I think, here — and this is a dark — I don’t want to be overly alarmist about this, but I think this is the time to be alarmist knowing where Donald Trump stands right now politically, understanding where we are headed in this election, I think we are looking at potentially a trial run for a kind of — a genuine attempt to, through intimidation and potentially through force, to try to — to try to steal this election. I think we are now at the point where we see the things that the President is doing, we see his intention to not accept an outcome of this election where he loses to Joe Biden. He’s making it very clear. And some of it is rhetoric about mail-in voting, but when the next thing, in the next breath is that he’s talking about sending these unmarked paramilitary guards to places with Democratic — blue states with very blue cities run by Democratic mayors, I think we should all take very seriously the prospect that this is a dress rehearsal, a trial run for first an attempt at voter intimidation on Election Day. Are these unmarked paramilitary units going to be doing ‘security’ at the polls in battleground states? I think that’s a question we’d like to have answered. That is potentially an effort at voter intimidation. And then, what happens in the overtime period? Anybody who is serious about this election recognizes, listening to the President, that there’s a very high likelihood that he’s not going to concede if he loses on election night. In those two and a half months, after Election Day until January 20th, if Donald Trump has lost this election, these things that we’re seeing right now, these incredibly alarming, incredibly disturbing images, unmarked paramilitary units that have no clear chain of command, no clear identification, taking protesters and putting them in unmarked vehicles, driving them away to God knows where, we should all be kind of freaking out about this right now and what it could portend for this fall and beyond.”
BRZEZINSKI: “Thank you. You put it pretty perfectly, John Heilemann. Yamiche Alcindor, as we wrap up, what are you looking at today, especially leading up to 5:00 P.M., do you plan to be there?”
ALCINDOR: “I will see if I get a seat in the Briefing Room.”