17:31 GMT25 January 2020
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    Ex-US President Barack Obama’s former employees, including his communications director, Jen Psaki, have given some insights about the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election while speaking to New York magazine.

    New York magazine has published a piece alleging that the Obama-era White House had a plan on what to do if Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election and her Republican rival Donald Trump refused to accept the results.

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    The media outlet referred to interviews with Obama’s senior aide and speechwriter Ben Rhodes, as well as his communications director Jen Psaki, who said that there was a bipartisan plan to validate the results of the vote.

    “It wasn’t a hypothetical. Trump was already saying it on the campaign trail,” Rhodes told Intelligencer in a reference to the Republican candidate’s words that the election was “rigged” and that he would accept the outcome only if he won.

    The plan to certify the election and prevent a potential political crisis reportedly involved former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as well as ex-presidents and congressional Republicans, who would come out publicly to affirm that the vote was legitimate.

    Meanwhile, the outlet cited Jen Psaki as saying that the plan was just one of the many “red-teaming” discussions about a potentially unprecedented post-election scenario.

    “There was recognition that we had a Democratic president who was quite popular but also divisive for a portion of the population. For them, just having him say the election was legitimate was not going to be enough. We didn’t spend a lot of time theorizing about the worst thing that could happen — this isn’t a science-fiction movie. It was more about the country being incredibly divided and Trump’s supporters being angry. Would there be protesting? I don’t want to say violence, because we didn’t talk about that as I recall.”

    Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, Trump gained the 270 electoral votes necessary for him to become the 45th President of the United States.

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