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Former Defense Secretary William Cohen On How Trump's Push To Overturn The Election Threatens Democr

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at a Republican National Committee Victory Rally at Dalton Regional Airport January 4, 2021 in Dalton, Georgia. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at a Republican National Committee Victory Rally at Dalton Regional Airport January 4, 2021 in Dalton, Georgia. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is attempting to subvert the will of the voters and overturn his election loss. But is he considering using the military to do so? We have an extended conversation with former defense secretary William Cohen about the presidency, military and how to strengthen American democracy.  

Guest

William Cohen, former U.S. Secretary of Defense. Former senator from Maine (1979-1997).

Also Featured

Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Secretary of Defense. Former senator from Nebraska (1997 to 2009).

From The Reading List

Washington Post: “All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the military in election disputes would cross into dangerous territory” — “As former secretaries of defense, we hold a common view of the solemn obligations of the U.S. armed forces and the Defense Department. Each of us swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We did not swear it to an individual or a party.”

New York Times: “When It Comes to Republican Defectors, Current Crisis Is No Watergate” — “When William S. Cohen, a young Republican House member from Maine, broke with his party over Watergate and joined Democrats in demanding the Nixon White House tapes in 1973, he figured his fledgling political career was dead.”

CNN: “Ex-Defense Secretary Cohen says ‘we are standing on the abyss of the destruction of our democracy’” — “The US is ‘standing on the abyss of the destruction of our democracy,’ former Defense Secretary William Cohen said Monday night, as President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress try to overturn the results of a free and fair election.”

Politico: “Trump pressures Pence to throw out election results — even though he can’t” — “President Donald Trump pressured Vice President Mike Pence publicly on Tuesday to reject the results of the Electoral College when they come before Congress on Wednesday, part of Trump’s doomed-to-fail, last-ditch effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.”

USA Today: “Trump courts ‘bloodshed, riots’ with inflammatory rhetoric, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says” — “Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned of ‘bloodshed and riots’ after President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to overturn the election.”

New York Times: “Republicans, Fearing Trump’s Wrath, Splinter Over Bid to Overturn Election” — “Republican divisions deepened on Monday over an effort to overturn President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, as lawmakers weighed their fear of alienating President Trump and his supporters against the consequences of voting to reject a democratic election.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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