Trump Suggests He’s Blocking USPS Emergency Funds To Hamper Mail-In Voting

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at the White House August 12, 2020. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Hey, at least he’s being honest about it. 

In two separate instances on Wednesday and Thursday, the President admitted that depriving the U.S. Postal Service of COVID-19 relief funds would hamper widespread mail-in voting. The President has attacked voting by mail for weeks, and is growing increasingly explicit in his threats to sabotage it. 

“They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting,” Trump said at a White House press conference Wednesday. “Therefore, they can’t do it, I guess. Right?” 

The President said he wasn’t willing to budge on congressional Democrats’ request for $25 billion in USPS funding — which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) noted Thursday morning was simply the figure requested by the Trump-appointed USPS Board of Governors. Democrats have also sought $3.6 billion in additional election funding. 

“How are they going to do it if they don’t have the money to do it?” Trump mused Wednesday.

And on Thursday morning, he made the same point again, speaking to Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. 

“Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he said, adding: “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

It’s not simply that Trump is saying mail-in voting would be affected by a lack of emergency funding. The White House has made the point explicit: “Voting rights” are a Democratic agenda item, apparently, and something the Trump administration opposes in the current round of talks over COVID-19 funds. 

“So much of the Democratic asks are really liberal left wish lists we don’t want to have — voting rights, and aid to aliens, and so forth,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow Thursday. “That’s not our game.”

As things currently stand, USPS’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to the accompanying spike in demand for mail-in voting, has worried state election officials who rely on the Postal Service to deliver ballots to voters.

The Republican donor and new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy — laden with his own conflicts of interest — has overseen changes at the USPS that have slowed mail delivery, threatening not only the 2020 election but also the timely delivery of prescription medicine and other necessary cargo. Earlier this month, DeJoy unveiled sweeping changes to the USPS organizational chart, reassigning top executives and centralizing power for himself.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: