White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Sunday clashed with CNN’s Jake Tapper as he was questioned about President Trump’s efforts to cripple the U.S. Postal Service.
When pressed by Tapper about the President admitting recently that he is blocking emergency funds to the Postal Service to hamper mail-in voting ahead of the November election, Meadows hit back by denying that Trump is sabotaging the Postal Service and claimed that the President has expressed openness towards additional Postal Service funding in a broader coronavirus stimulus package.
Tapper then pressed Meadows about high-volume mail sorters reportedly being decommissioned nationwide, prompting delays in delivery. Meadows punted the blame to Democrats.
“There’s no sorting machines that are going offline between now and the election,” Meadows said. “That’s something that my Democrat friends are trying to do to stoke fear out there. That’s not happening.”
Later in the interview, Tapper and Meadows clashed even further when the CNN anchor confronted him about Trump’s baseless claims arguing that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud. Tapper listed off a number of White House official and Cabinet members who have a record of voting by mail, which include the President and First Lady themselves.
“Can you tell me the difference between voting by mail in Florida and, say, voting by mail in Pennsylvania? What’s the difference?” Tapper asked Meadows.
After Meadows said that he couldn’t explain the difference, he proceeded to double down on Trump’s false assertion by arguing that mail-in voting would lead to voters being “disenfranchised” due “millions of ballots” getting sent to “empty mailboxes,” which he claimed can be blamed on outdated voter rolls.
Tapper pushed back by bringing up how several states have conducted vote-by-mail for years with little or without issues, saying that “there’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud.”
Meadows then hit back by sharing a head-scratching defense of Trump’s baseless crusade against mail-in voting.
“There’s no evidence that there’s not either,” Meadows said. “That’s the definition of fraud, Jake.”
Watch Meadows’ remarks below:
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows attempts to defend Trump's efforts to hamper mail-in voting pic.twitter.com/SqfmUUMy3B
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) August 16, 2020