Trump defends tweet suggesting delay in 2020 election by casting doubt on results
President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his earlier tweet suggesting the Nov. 3 election should be postponed, repeating his unsupported contention that widespread fraud is likely to occur in November.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted on Thurday. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
Trump’s tweet sparked outrage in Washington and no major Republican lawmaker came to his defense. Democrats accused the president of trying to undermine the election.
At the White House’s daily press conference on the coronavirus, Trump was asked multiple times how serious he was when he tweeted about pushing the election back amid the coronavirus pandemic, something he does not have the authority to do.
Trump downplayed the substance of the tweet, pivoting to exaggerated claims about mail-in voting and suggesting the November election will be “rigged” months before it has even occurred.
“I don’t want to delay. I want to have the election,” Trump said during a press briefing at the White House. “But I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything. That’s what’s going to happen… that’s common sense.”
“Smart people know it,” he added. “Stupid people may not know it.”
“Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history if that happens,” Trump said, referencing widespread mail-in voting.
Trump himself voted absentee earlier this year in the Florida primary, and his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, has similarly voted by mail roughly a dozen times.