National: With brazen assault on election, Trump prompts critics to warn of a coup | David Nakamura/The Washington Post
During four years in office, President Trump has trampled political norms, attacked democratic institutions, sought to discredit government agencies, peddled baseless conspiracy theories and been impeached by the House. Since his defeat in the November election, Trump’s critics have warned that his scorched-earth effort to invalidate the outcome amounts to a new level of danger: the first attempted coup d’etat in U.S. history to illegally maintain power. The chorus of alarm grew this week after the disclosure that Trump bullied and threatened Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an hour-long private phone call Saturday, during which the president demanded that Raffensperger find thousands of votes for Trump that do not exist. On social media, conservative and liberal pundits alike used the word “coup.” So did former George W. Bush aide Nicolle Wallace, Trump biographer Timothy L. O’Brien, political analyst Larry Sabato and Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and founder of the Renew Democracy Initiative. The Atlantic, the New Yorker, the Nation, Vanity Fair, New York magazine and the BBC have invoked the term to explore the ramifications of Trump’s assault on the nation’s democratic foundations.