Clyburn: 'We're teetering on' giving president 'authority to be dictator'

House Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnClyburn: Bush told me I'm 'savior' for Biden endorsement LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing Clyburn confident House will pass Biden agenda despite narrow majority MORE (D-S.C.) said Tuesday that he sees parallels between the conduct of Republicans following President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE's electoral defeat last week and Germany in the 1930s when the Nazi Party came to power.

In an interview with CNN, the high-ranking House Democrat said that the U.S. was "teetering" on the edge of fascism, warning that the president's attempts to overturn the results of last Tuesday's election raised the possibility that Trump could become a "dictator."

"I've been telling people for a long time now, I'm beginning to see what happened in Germany back in the 1930s," Clyburn told host Chris CuomoChris CuomoOcasio-Cortez says lawmakers fear colleagues sneaking firearms on House floor Ken Burns says US is experiencing its fourth 'great crisis' CNN's Smerconish lauds Trump on ,000 relief checks: 'Most effective thing he's done' post election MORE.


"I never thought that could happen in this country. How do you elect a person president, then all of a sudden give him the authority to be dictator? That's what we're teetering on here," he continued.

Clyburn added that he did not expect Trump to transition into an authoritarian figure, but said that the U.S. was in for some "rough sledding" as the president contests the results of the election, which was called for his opponent, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID MORE, on Saturday.


"I do believe that we are in for some rough sledding, but I don't think it's going to get any more ugly than it already has been," said the House majority whip.

Clyburn was an early backer of Biden's campaign. His endorsement of the former vice president ahead of the South Carolina primary is credited with reviving the president-elect's campaign, which at the time faced a surging challenge from his main primary opponent, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: Next steps in the Trump impeachment Sanders selling sweatshirts with his famous inauguration pose for charity MORE (I-Vt.).

Biden has called Trump's refusal to accept the presidential election results "pathetic" but has dismissed the idea that the president will not vacate the White House in January.

Trump's refusal to concede "does not change the dynamic at all in what we're able to do," Biden said at a press conference this week, adding, "We don't see anything that's slowing us down, quite frankly."