Trump 'Enablers' Facilitating 'Slow Suffocation' of Democracy: Rep. Schiff

Donald Trump's Republican allies have been enabling a "slow suffocation" of democratic norms in the United States, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)—a long-term adversary of the incumbent president.

Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, criticized what he branded Trump's "enablers." Few Republicans having broke rank with the president's election fraud claims, despite these being largely unsubstantiated, as the incumbent refuses to concede to Joe Biden.

Networks have called the election Biden's favor, though Trump has refused to accept this and questioned what he labels the "lamestream media" making such a pronouncement.

"The fact is the president couldn't be doing all this, he couldn't have broken down so many of our norms and democratic institutions over the last four years, he couldn't be behaving the way he is today, if there weren't leaders within the Republican party in congress and elsewhere going along with him," Schiff told MSNBC.

"And they rationalize it by saying well, 'we'll just do it until the courts decide,' or, 'we'll just do it until the Georgia special election is over,' or 'we'll just do it until he's out of office,' or, if he's going to run again, 'we'll just do it for the next four years.'

"This is how a democracy is smothered. It doesn't always die with a shot in the back, sometimes it dies over a course of slow suffocation and it is absolutely inexcusable what these enablers are doing."

"The president couldn't be doing all this, he couldn't have broken down so many of our norms and democratic institutions over the last four years, he couldn't be behaving the way he is today, if there weren't leaders in the Republican Party ... going along with him." @AdamSchiff pic.twitter.com/KdUw5EamCo

— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) November 12, 2020

Schiff previously criticized Trump's comments and actions in the run-up to the election, telling Newsweek the president was looking to "laying the foundations to discredit the votes of millions" ahead of November 3. He was also highly critical of the president during his impeachment trial.

Trump has seen high-profile GOP lawmakers back his pursuit of election-related lawsuits, and his refusal to accept the election result until such action is concluded.

Most Republican lawmakers have stuck with him on this, with only a handful having offered an opposing view to the president. Some have suggested the lawsuits over allegations of fraud and irregularities should be pursued regardless of the election outcome, suggesting it is more a matter of faith in democracy.

Democrats have staunchly opposed Trump's actions, with Biden himself describing his refusal to concede "an embarrassment."

He has set up a transition team to facilitate a move into office, despite the president's insistence that the race is not over.

Newsweek has contacted Schiff and the Trump campaign for comment.

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 30, 2020. He has criticized Republican lawmakers supporting President Donald Trump's actions. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images