President Donald Trump defended his tweet suggesting the U.S. delay the November 3rd general election over mail-in voting fraud concerns during a White House press briefing Thursday.
Trump made the initial call Thursday morning, ending a tweet highlighting the potential problems with mail-in ballots with the question of whether the election should be delayed. Trump says his goal was to highlight what he sees as a high possibility of fraud in the event of a mail-in election.
“I don’t wanna delay. I wanna have the election, but I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything,” Trump said. “That’s what’s going to happen…that’s common sense.”
“Do I want a date change? No,” he added. (RELATED: As Pence Campaigns In Pennsylvania For The Third Time In Two Months, Another Poll Shows Trump Down In The State)
Trump pointed to several news reports in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post highlighting problems with mail-in ballots over the past few months.
Trump, asked about delaying the election, points to news reports about how universal mail-in votes have been disastrous. NY, NJ elections. “Absentee is different.” Different from CA send out tens of millions of voter forms.
— Fred Lucas (@FredLucasWH) July 30, 2020
“I don’t want to see a crooked election, Trump said. “This election will be the most rigged election in history, if [universal mail-in voting] happens.”
Trump’s original tweet suggesting the delay was met with massive criticism, including from Trump’s Republican allies. The authority to change election dates lies with Congress, not the president, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed the November 3rd election date is set in stone.
“Never in the history of this country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time,” he said. “We will find a way to do that again this November 3rd. We will cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on November 3rd as already scheduled.”
Trump also confirmed that he would not be able to travel back to Florida on election day due to coronavirus, and so will be voting absentee in November.