The White House’s baseless charge of widespread mail-in voting fraud is starting to sound a lot like “I know you are but what am I,” the kind of argument chief of staff Mark Meadows resorted to on Sunday. Discussing mail-in voting with CNN’s Jake Tapper, who noted there to be no evidence of widespread voter fraud, Meadows told the State of the Union host, “There’s no evidence that there’s not, either.”
President Donald Trump offered similar remarks over the weekend, Axios reported, stoking doubts about mail-in voting and the integrity of the nation’s electoral system with unsubstantiated claims. “Universal mail-in voting is going to be catastrophic. It’s going to make the U.S. a laughingstock all over the world,” Trump said at a press conference on Saturday, his latest effort to undermine mail-in voting as a method rife with fraud.
“There’s no way they’re going to get it accurately,” he said, claiming the “number one” problem with mail-in voting is that “you’re never going to know when the election’s over” and predicting that it could take “months” or “years” to know election results.
Trump also used the news event to praise Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, an ally of the president who is facing calls to resign amid allegations of voter suppression. The USPS has reportedly warned at least 46 states that mail-in votes may not arrive in time to be counted for November’s election, delays due to cost-cutting measures implemented by DeJoy that could potentially disenfranchise millions. While protesters gathered outside DeJoy’s home to demand he step down from the agency, Trump called him a “fantastic man” who “wants to make the post office great again.”
The consequences of the disruptive policy changes include eliminating overtime and slowing some mail delivery, cutbacks that Democrats say are intended to undermine the USPS’ ability to deliver election ballots in time this fall. As CNN reported, DeJoy is now being scrutinized by the Postal Service Inspector General, who opened an investigation into his policy changes as well his compliance with federal ethics rules. According to Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is mulling whether to bring the House back early to address the USPS crisis, not to provide additional funding but to address organizational issues at the agency ahead of the election.
On Sunday, Democrats also called on DeJoy to testify at an urgent Oversight Committee hearing on August 24 to examine his “sweeping operational and organizational changes at the Postal Service” and their impact on mail-in voting. Over the weekend, Trump alleged that Democrats were to blame for the issues the cost-cutting measures could cause for the Postal Service amid the unprecedented influx of ballots.
“The Post Office is a catastrophe,” he claimed at Saturday’s presser, per Politico. “And obviously if you’re going to do these millions of ballots out of nowhere, [DeJoy is] going to obviously need funding. But the Democrats aren’t willing to provide other things and therefore they’re not going to get the funding for that.” The president’s accusation comes just days after he brazenly admitted his strategy of starving the Postal Service of funds to sabotage the election, something Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney cited in Sunday’s letter to the postmaster.
“Your testimony is particularly urgent given the troubling influx of reports of widespread delays at postal facilities across the country—as well as President Trump’s explicit admission last week that he has been blocking critical coronavirus funding for the Postal Service in order to impair mail-in voting efforts for the upcoming elections in November.”
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