Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) accused President Donald Trump on Friday of using the US Postal Service as “a scapegoat if the election doesn’t go his way,” following suggestions by the President earlier this week that he would block additional funding to the mail service to hamper mail voting, which he sees as unfavorable to his re-election prospects.
Asked on “Meet the Press” Friday if he had confidence in the recently-installed Trump ally, Louis DeJoy as postmaster general, Manchin was concise.
“Not at all,” he said.
“He shouldn’t even be there to begin with,” the West Virginia lawmaker told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Friday, adding, “any way you can get rid of him please do so.”
WATCH: What I saw yesterday at #WV post offices & mail distribution centers was concerning. I'm already hearing from West Virginians that their critical medications are delayed in the mail. The USPS is a lifeline for rural America. I urge my Republican colleagues to #SaveTheUSPS. pic.twitter.com/Zlbzos07WG
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) August 15, 2020
Since June, DeJoy — a former Republican mega-donor — has already made cost-cutting policy changes that some have said are causing delays to election mail and the critical delivery of medicine to rural areas.
“He’s going to destroy it before he figures out how to run it,” Manchin said of DeJoy after visiting four USPS locations in his state on Friday.
The Democratic lawmaker said that his state has been particularly hard hit as many residents in the largely rural state rely on the postal service for the delivery of essentials.
According to a CNN report, West Virginia is one of the states that due to policy changes is seeing hours slashed during some of the mail service’s busiest times.
Union officials in West Virginia, Florida and Missouri told CNN that workers are being directed to close post offices for an hour at lunchtime.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who have proposed additional funding to the postal service have called President’s attempts to block that money an “abuse of power” at a time when its services are most needed.
Responding to those comments on Friday, Manchin called President Trump’s handicapping of the USPS a “callous” act against the people who depend on its services and chastised Trump for drawing postal workers into a “political fight” for his own gain.
After drawing ire for comments that he was blocking funding to the USPS to thwart the expansion of mail voting, Trump later claimed that his actions had nothing to do with the campaign.
“I’m not doing this for any reason,” Trump said of his push to deny funds to the postal service during a press conference Thursday, adding “maybe the other turns out to be my advantage.”