A top Democrat has compared Donald Trump to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, warning that Trump would resist leaving office.
House majority whip Jim Clyburn, the No 3 Democrat in the chamber, and a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, made the historical comparison to Mussolini after comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler in a PBS interview on Friday (US time).
On Sunday, Clyburn said Trump was more akin to Mussolini and that Russian President Vladimir Putin "is Hitler".
Mussolini's rule as Italian dictator lasted for two decades until he was deposed as Italy faced catastrophic defeat in World War II. Adolf Hitler rose to power in 1933 in Germany and initiated World War II in Europe, before being defeated by the Allies in 1945.
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Clyburn made the comparison while describing what he feels is the president's dictatorial, anti-democratic tendencies.
"I don't think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn't plan to have fair and unfettered elections. I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue to hold onto office," Clyburn said, alluding to the president's threat last week to postpone the 2020 election over concerns about fraudulent mail-in ballots.
"I feel very strongly that he is Mussolini, Putin is Hitler. The American people better wake up," Clyburn added.
Trump cannot unilaterally push back the election from November3, as only Congress holds that power.
Republicans roundly dismissed the president's concerns about an authentic election and said it would take place as scheduled.
"He can suggest whatever he wants. The law is what it is. We're going to have an election that's legitimate, it's going to be credible, it's going to be the same as we've always done it," Senate intelligence chairman Marco Rubio said.