Ambassador in Washington until last year after having been France’s representative to the UN from 2009 to 2014, Gérard Araud has lived for eleven years on the east coast of the United States. The diplomat gives his impressions of the attitude of the outgoing president who sees his chances of re-election fading away.
After claiming his victory, Donald Trump denounces fraud and cries out plot? Does that surprise you?
GÉRARD ARAUD. This is absolutely no surprise to Americans. Trump has said it throughout the campaign: if I lose, it’s because they cheated. This is why he surrounded himself very early on with an armada of lawyers and hastened, a week before the election, to appoint a judge to the Supreme Court which now has six conservatives. for three progressives. His target is postal voting, which he suspects of fraud. However, this remote voting is massive because of the Covid. And Democrats use it a lot more than Republicans, so as we strip Trump backs down or is beaten depending on the state. The scenario had been abundantly described, it is verified.
PODCAST. Torn population, election night without a winner … plunged into the disunited States of America
But can Trump admit his defeat?
Whatever happens, he never will: he will spend his entire life saying that his election was stolen and millions of Americans will believe him. You have to realize his personality as a pathological narcissist. He is a populist leader who comes out of the framework of liberal democracy, like a Viktor Orban (Editor’s note: Prime Minister of Hungary) or a Berlusconi in his time. He will initiate hundreds of appeals, lead a legal battle of infernal complexity. The fact remains that, according to American specialists, except perhaps in Pennsylvania, there is no basis for long disputes that can go as far as the Supreme Court. And Trump is unlikely to win in this court. What can stop it is the cost of this affair: we are talking about millions of dollars.
Can he still continue to cling to power in the weeks to come?
In any case, his mandate ends on January 20, according to the Constitution. The police will go get him and he’ll be kicked out of the White House! But it will not last until then. Theoretically, everything will be settled on December 14, when the electoral college must elect the president. And in early January, the two chambers will meet in Congress to proclaim the name of the new president.
What can be the short-term consequences of this imbroglio?
We cannot exclude, in the days to come, violent incidents in this country where everyone is armed. Not to mention that Trump will continue to add fuel to the fire. There are two countries which ignore each other, which do not speak to each other. Americans are in a virtual civil war that is tearing them apart. Moreover, in recent hours, Joe Biden continues to call for reconciliation and unity.
Are Trump’s supporters fooled by his strategy?
They are totally fooled: that’s the strength of the Trump phenomenon! He was able to retain between 35 and 40% of Americans whose support has never wavered. As he once said: If I killed someone on Fifth Avenue, they would still vote for me, which is true. So when he talks about massive fraud, millions of Americans believe him.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr