Donald Trump dodged a question on whether he was intentionally sabotaging the US postal service in order to make mail-in voting more difficult and help him win re-election.
The accusation, made by Mr Trump’s 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, was put to the president during an interview on Fox and Friends. The president responded by questioning whether the postal service was equipped to deal with mail-in votes.
“Well, as you know the postal service for 40 years has had big problems, and they’re not equipped to handle a governor where they say ‘millions of ballots by the way will be posted in a couple of weeks. Gear up.' You can’t do that. It doesn’t work that way, it’s a very complex process,” he said.
“So Nevada, we’re in court, we’ll see how it works out. But if it doesn’t work out, you’re not gonna know the November 3 election results — I’m talking for the country it could be for months and months, actually it could be for years. If they sent, and they plan to send these ballots, to everyone who has ever walked in the state of Nevada, it will be a disaster.”
Democrats have raised concerns that the White House is actively weakening the US postal service — which processes mail-in ballots — in order to help Mr Trump secure re-election in November.
Republicans have been reluctant to include funds for the struggling service in the next coronavirus relief package. At the same time, the new head of the USPS, a GOP donor named Louis DeJoy, has reportedly introduced operational changes, which have led to delays in deliveries.
Ms Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential race to Mr Trump, said on Tuesday: “I fear Republican sabotage of the USPS, including slowing mail delivery, is a Trump strategy to make voting by mail more difficult this fall. Request your ballots and return them as early as you can.”
Advocates of mail-in voting have promoted its use as a means of protecting against the spread of the coronavirus during November’s vote. The system varies state-by-state.
Mr Trump, who is trailing his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the polls, has railed against the use of mail-in ballots for weeks. But in recent days urged voters in one republican state — Florida — to vote by any means.
fter weeks of railing against what he has claimed are the potential risks of voting by mail, President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged voters in at least one Republican state - Florida - to vote by any means.
"Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida's Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA," Trump wrote.
He told reporters at a briefing later on Tuesday that Florida has had two "great" Republican governors and "they've been able to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally."