Kayleigh McEnany struck fear into the hearts of many Twitter users on Wednesday.
Of course, that was bound to happen after the White House press secretary refused to explicitly say whether President Donald Trump would accept the results of the November election even if he lost to Joe Biden.
Instead, McEnany told reporters the president is waiting until after the election to decide whether he would leave if he loses.
“The President has always said he’ll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath,” she said.
Reporter: "Is the President saying if he doesn't win this election that he will not accept the results unless he wins?"— The Hill (@thehill) August 19, 2020
Kayleigh McEnany: "The President has always said he'll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath." pic.twitter.com/iH606u3V38
Considering that a peaceful transfer of power is considered one of the great things about the American political system, many Twitter users were disturbed about the message being sent to American citizens.
What no US President has ever said --- until now. https://t.co/AuurVHAMiy— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) August 19, 2020
For the first time in American history, a president openly threatens to disregard an impending election and assume dictatorial power. https://t.co/3aVVAZnc3t— James Gleick (@JamesGleick) August 19, 2020
This is tantamount to an act of war by a President against his own country. https://t.co/0OHHbWSlif— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 19, 2020
Wrong answer. We are a democracy. We the people decide. Not an autocrat. https://t.co/y94tQjCWgL— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 19, 2020
“Aftermath”.... why doesnt she just say The Purge https://t.co/otcaPTJ60W— Hal Sparks (@HalSparks) August 19, 2020
That’s not how democracy works. We, the people, will make our determination about this president. Not the other way around. https://t.co/yHIiyRfaVu— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) August 19, 2020
This is so scary. Trump doesn't get to decide if the election is free and fair. That's NOT his job. (& he would not be the first leader with autocratic proclivities to try to stay in power after losing an election. Remember Serbia 2000, Ukraine 2004, Malawi 2019, Belarus, 2000.) https://t.co/Bn2kbzMR0B— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) August 19, 2020
No matter how this plays out in November, it’s going to get ugly. https://t.co/NQ9R3rSIDi— Monica Rix (@MonicaRix) August 19, 2020
Seems clear Trump will probably call any election he loses a fraud. But he could also just leave and continue to hold and espouse that view for the rest of his life.— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) August 19, 2020
Donald Trump hasn't articulated many policy ideas for his second term, other than potentially not accepting the outcome of the election, or suggesting he deserves an unconstitutional third term. https://t.co/d7b1IhaXom— Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) August 19, 2020
The president can have a little authoritarianism, as a treat https://t.co/SiMHk0kcDT— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) August 19, 2020
Does anyone else think we are going to need to escort Trump out of the oval office in handcuffs, when he doesn't accept the election results in November? https://t.co/tMsKnBhGXH— Chip Franklin (@chipfranklin) August 19, 2020
When some states threaten to secede will Trump accept a loss? Putin will advise accordingly. https://t.co/tZWG2iH2p4— David Carroll 🦅 (@profcarroll) August 19, 2020
I'm not sure we’re all adequately prepared for how much November (and possibly December and January) are going to be absolutely awful. https://t.co/0wFpiDfSgW— Marc Torrence (@marctorrence) August 19, 2020
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.