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CNN  — 

Sen. Cory Booker said Wednesday that he’s “concerned” President Donald Trump might refuse to concede if he loses the 2020 presidential race and declared that he’d “sooner die” than let that happen.

“I would sooner die. And I mean that very seriously, I would sooner die than to see my nation’s constitutional tradition of peaceful transfers of power to be vacated by a demagogue who won’t humble himself,” the New Jersey Democrat, a former 2020 presidential candidate, said during an interview on SiriusXM’s “The Clay Cane Show.”

His comments come as the President continues to push unfounded claims about voter fraud ahead of November’s general election. Before his win in 2016, Trump had said he would accept the election results “if I win.”

“This President has already shown his willingness to trample constitutional norms,” Booker said Wednesday.

A June CNN poll of registered voters nationally finds Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 14 points, his lowest standing in a series of recent polls that have the former vice president ahead, sometimes with a majority of support.

The result comes amid rising coronavirus deaths in the US and condemnation from some fellow Republicans about Trump’s response to protests outside the White House.

Following a speech in the White House Rose Garden last week, the President walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church – a house of worship used by American presidents for more than a century – just after peaceful protesters outside the White House gates had been dispersed with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets, and was photographed holding up a Bible.

Recounting the episode Wednesday, Booker said the US “is a place of great tradition and he turned upon those traditions and used force, tear gas, rubber bullets to clear peaceful protesters to do what? Because he had to get to some national emergency? To do what? Because he had somehow to meet the demands of his job? No, he did that for a photo op.”

Attorney General William Barr has defended the actions taken to clear the protesters, saying at a news conference last week that difficulties with relocating authorities had forced the clash. Barr maintained that his decision to disperse the crowd had followed signs that the protesters were “becoming increasingly unruly” and had nothing to do with the photo op at the church.

“And so am I concerned? Yeah,” Booker said of Trump accepting the 2020 election results should he lose. But, the senator continued, “the good thing is that moment when he did that, it was a bit of a stress test.”

“It gave me the first sign that should we have a greater stress test of him trying to delegitimize an election and remain in power, that there are people in other positions of power that will not let that happen,” he said.

“And I’m one of them.”