President Donald Trump admitted in an interview that he is blocking emergency aid to the US Postal Service to undermine mail-in voting.
"They don't have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can't do it, I guess," Trump said during a news briefing on Wednesday. "Are they going to do it even if they don't have the money?"
He went further in a Fox Business interview on Thursday, noting that blocking funding to the USPS and another Democratic proposal for $3.5 billion for supplemental election funding would hurt the Postal Service’s ability to deliver mail ballots.
"They need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions of ballots," he said. "If they don't get those two items, that means you can't have universal mail-in voting, because they're not equipped."
Critics say Trump is sabotaging election:
“Trump made it clear that his effort to defund the Postal Service is a blatant attempt at mass voter suppression,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders. “No, Mr. President. We won't let you sabotage the election. This is a democracy, not a damn dictatorship. Your reign of authoritarianism will soon end.”
“There you have it. Donald Trump just admitted he is undermining the US Postal Service in order to sabotage vote by mail efforts,” said Alphonso Davis, the president of the Human Rights Campaign. “165K+ Americans have already died on Trump's watch, how many more must die in his dangerous quest for power? We cannot let this stand.”
Democrats worry over USPS plan:
Separately from Trump’s call, Democrats sounded the alarm over the USPS telling states that they should use first-class postage, which costs 55 cents per ballot, rather than third-class postage, which costs 20 cents per ballot, even though postal workers have routinely provided special treatment for election mail.
"If any changes are made to long-standing practices of moving election mail just months ahead of the 2020 general election, it will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters and put significant financial pressure on election jurisdictions," Senate Democrats said in a letter to new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a top Trump donor.
"The House is seriously concerned that you are implementing policies that accelerate the crisis at the Postal Service, including directing Post Offices to no longer treat all election mail as first class. If implemented now, as the election approaches, this policy will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters and put significant financial pressure on election jurisdictions, House Democrats said in a separate letter.