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13 Aug, 2020 18:45

Trump suggests he’s withholding post office funds to stop ‘universal mail-in voting’

Trump suggests he’s withholding post office funds to stop ‘universal mail-in voting’

Donald Trump is being accused of “trying to steal” the election after claiming talks with Democrats on Covid-19 economic relief was stalled when the president refused post office funding for “universal mail-in voting.”

Asked by Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo what led to the standstill between the White House and Democrats on a coronavirus stimulus package, the president said one of the main points the left will not budge on is extra funding for the US postal service to handle universal mail-in voting, something he is staunchly against.

“They want three-and-a-half billion dollars for the mail-in votes. Universal mail-in ballots, three-and-a-half… They want $25 billion — billion — for the post office,” President Trump said. “Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”

Various Democrats have promoted the idea of mail-in voting in light of the current pandemic and numerous states in lockdown, but the president and others have consistently linked the method of voting to fraud. In Friday’s interview, he specifically cited the “Carolyn Maloney scam” as an example of this fraud.

Also on rt.com Trump hints at executive action against mail-in voting, threatens to sue Nevada

“She scammed her way into an election,” he said. 

Rep. Maloney (D-New York) ran a tight race over the summer against challenger Suraj Patel. Thousands of mail-in ballots were reportedly not counted for various reasons, which has led critics to cite the race as a reason to be wary of mail-in voting in November. Trump called the election a “total disaster.”

Maloney has ironically introduced legislation meant to prevent the Trump administration from implementing any operational changes to the post office during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The president also claimed that applications for November ballots have already been sent out by mistake to “dead people” and “dogs.”

“Yesterday, Virginia, 500,000 applications for ballots got sent to everybody, nobody even knows. Got sent to dogs, got sent to dead people. Nobody has no idea what happened. They say, ‘Oh, we made a mistake, I’m sorry.’ 500,000 ballots sent in Virginia,” he said. “How do you feel about Virginia going in there and you have 500,000 phony ballot applications, and this is all over.”

“You know, there’s nothing wrong with getting out and voting. You get out and vote. They voted during World War I and World War II and they should have voter ID because the Democrats scammed the system.”

“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it,” Trump said.

The failure to reach a deal with Democrats on a coronavirus stimulus package led the president to sign several executive orders extending pandemic era economic relief like a raise to unemployment benefits and a hold on housing evictions.

While mail-in voting has its critics, especially in the president’s circle, Democrats have used the criticism to charge Republicans with trying to rig November’s election by restricting ballot access.

“We need to call this what it is: a brazen attempt to steal the election by invalidating vote by mail ballots. In the process, he's putting people's lives at risk by COVID,” Tommy Vieotr, a former official with the Obama administration, tweeted in response to Trump’s latest charges.

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