President Donald Trump admitted he’s intentionally withholding money from the U.S. Postal Service in order to affect the 2020 election.
“They need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said on Fox Business Thursday morning, according to Vice. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”
The comments explain why Trump and congressional Republicans have steadfastly refused to grant the Post Office additional funds in the latest round of negotiations over another coronavirus stimulus package. Trump, who has used mail-in voting for multiple elections, has spent months attacking mail-in voting, even as states have expanded it citing there’s little evidence showing fraud.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, is not only a supporter and friend of President Trump, but has donated between $30 million and $75 million in assets in postal service competitors or contractors. Dejoy has slowed down mail delivery considerably in at least 19 states.
Additionally, DeJjoy’s changes to the USPS have included overhauling the service’s senior leadership and directing carriers to leave on time immediately in the morning, resulting in them only delivering packages and letters sorted the prior night.
Trump made similar comments about the destruction of the USPS in recent White House press briefings.
“They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting,” Trump said of the Post Office, which has requested billions in emergency funding. “So, therefore, they can’t do it, I guess. Are they going to do it even if they don’t have the money?”
Democrats have tried to fight back against the plan. Joe Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement, “The President of the United States is sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon, cutting a critical lifeline for rural economies and for delivery of medicines, because he wants to deprive Americans of their fundamental right to vote safely during the most catastrophic public health crisis in over 100 years.”
Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and others have sent a letter to Dejoy demanding a reversal of the recent changes at the USPS, saying the changes “threaten the timely delivery of mail—including medicines for seniors, paychecks for workers, and absentee ballots for voters—that is essential to millions of Americans.”