THE wild theory that Donald Trump could be reinstated as president could spark violence from his supporters, Homeland Security chiefs fear.
John Cohen, assistant secretary for counterterrorism, said claims the 2020 election was rigged and that Trump could seize back power in August may cause people with extreme views to attack, Politico reports.
This comes amid reports from the New York Times and the National Review this month that the brash billionaire is telling aides he could return to office this year.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an outspoken Trump supporter, has also been spreading the unsustained rumour which has become popular among followers of Q-Anon.
And a Morning Consult/POLITICO poll this month showed that 29 per cent of Republican voters believe Trump will become president again later this year.
Speaking to the House Committee on Homeland Security, Cohen said that government authorities were monitoring extremist communities online for any signs of premeditated violence.
However, he did insist that he was not aware of any specific threats based on the Trump theory.
Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes told MSNBC that the "delusional" theory that Trump will be reinstated centres around an election audit in Arizona.
Some sections of Trump's base believe the Supreme Court will invalidate Joe Biden's win following the state's audit.
Trump's false claims that the election was rigged helped rile his supporters on January 6 when thousands of them stormed the Capitol building in Washington DC.
Yet, election officials maintain that last year’s vote was one of the safest in history and deny the possibility the results were skewered by widespread fraud.
Meanwhile, Trump vowed in a press release this month that the GOP was going to take back the White House "sooner than you think", adding "it's going to be something special."
The Politico/Morning Consult's poll also found 59 per cent of Republican voters said they wish to see Trump play a major role in the party going forward.
Trump hasn't yet confirmed whether he plans to run in 2024, though has dropped a number of hints, and suggested he'd confirm his decision after the 2022 midterms.
"As you know, it's very early. But I think people are going to be very, very happy when I make a certain announcement," Trump said last month.
"You know for campaign finance reasons, you really can't do it too early because it becomes a whole different thing."
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