According to multiple sources, President Donald Trump has ordered a lockdown around the White House and downtown Washington, D.C. and has told businesses to board up their store fronts and give their staff the week off ahead of Election Day on Tuesday.
According to NBC News' Geoff Bennett, the White House will have a non-scalable wall built around it and 250 National Guardsmen have been put on standby.
"A federal law enforcement source tells NBC that beginning tomorrow, crews will build a 'non-scalable' fence to secure the White House complex, Ellipse and Lafayette Square," said Bennett. "250 National Guardsmen have been put on standby, reporting to Metro Police officials."
Why Does the President Need a Fence Around the WH?
The last time the President had a fence built around the WH was to keep Black Lives Matter protesters away in June amid nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism. The 1.7 mile-long barricading was built to keep anyone from entering Lafayette Park and other open spaces around the WH.
The news of the anti-climb fencing is now being widely circulated on social media with the hashtag #WhiteHouseLockdown trending on Twitter with users questioning the need for a non-scalable barricade around the official residence and workplace of the POTUS.
"He is not going to concede...he will need to be removed," wrote one user.
"The end stages of an authoritarian take over. No one barricades themselves in a peaceful transition of power," commented another.
"Never before in America's history has a sitting president made the People's House into a fortress for his own "self-protection," tweeted yet another" "We now have a dictator prepping for a civil war. God help us all."
Trump to Legally Dispute the Election if He Loses
It is not yet clear why Trump is having the wall set-up but according to a report published by Axios, the president plans to declare early victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he is "ahead." Trump said he will celebrate the win even if there are still uncounted votes in key states that could alter the outcome of the Electoral College in subsequent hours or days.
Although Trump later denied the report but lamented the Supreme Court rulings that allow absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day to be counted in key states like Pennsylvania as "terrible," before adding that his campaign intends to fight it legally if things don't go his way.
"Now, I don't know if that's going to be changed, because we're going to go in night of, as soon as that election is over, we're going in with our lawyers," Trump said.
In response to news of Trump declaring a premature victory on Tuesday's election before the results are clear, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden warned that he would not let that happen. "My response is the president is not going to steal this election," Biden told reporters during a campaign stop in Philadelphia.