TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The US could be headed toward a second civil war following President Donald Trump’s comments around not carrying out a peaceful transition of power should he lose in November, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said.

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“You know, I began my career as a journalist covering Lebanon’s second civil war in its history, and I’m terrified to find myself ending my career as a journalist covering America’s potential second civil war in its history,” Friedman told Anderson Cooper in an appearance on CNN, The Hill reported.

“You really believe that?” Cooper asked.

“I think what happened in the last few days is a six-alarm fire,” said Friedman, later adding, “The president of the United States has told us ‘Either I win the election or I delegitimize the election.’ Those are your choices, folks.”

Friedman, a staunch critic of the US president, also took aim at Republicans for not standing up to Trump.

“This is a party that went into its convention with no platform, just basically said whatever Trump wants, we want,” Friedman said. “If you’re not frightened now, if you are not terrified for what could happen, it’s not ‘We might have a disputed election.’ It is ‘We are going to have a disputed election, almost certainly,’ unless Trump wins, in which case I shudder to think what four more years of this would be like.”

Trump on Wednesday refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power in the event he is defeated by Democratic nominee Joe Biden, with the president saying he needs to “see what happens” with mail-in ballots.

The president has regularly attacked mail-in voting as having the potential for increased voter fraud despite officials, including the director of the FBI, saying there is no evidence to back those claims.

“We’re going to have to see what happens, you know, but I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster,” Trump said on Thursday.

“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” he added. “The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.”