Justin Clark, one of President Donald Trump’s top reelection aides, was caught on tape telling powerful Republicans in Wisconsin that though the Republican party has “traditionally” used voter suppression tactics to win in swing states, this year, the party will go on the offensive due to relaxed Election Day rules.
The Associated Press obtained the recording from a liberal advocacy group, taped during the November 21 Republican National Lawyers Association’s Wisconsin chapter meeting.
“Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places,” Clark said. “Let’s start protecting our voters. We know where they are. … Let’s start playing offense a little bit. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program.”
Clark told the AP later that he was referring to false accusations that Republicans engage in voter suppression.
The election day rules Clark referred to is the 2018 lifting of a consent decree, put into place in 1982 after the DNC sued the RNC for intimidating black voters in a New Jersey governor’s race by stationing off-duty police officers with “National Ballot Security Task Force” armbands near the polls.
In the recording, Clark said that Trump supports the planned offensive push.
“We’ve all seen the tweets about voter fraud, blah, blah, blah,” Clark said. “Every time we’re in with him, he asks what are we doing about voter fraud? What are we doing about voter fraud?’ The point is he’s committed to this, he believes in it and he will do whatever it takes to make sure it’s successful.”
Voter fraud, a virtually nonexistent problem in the United States, is frequently cited by Republicans as an excuse to increase the difficulty of the voting process.