President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t necessarily veto a bill that includes funding for the U.S. Post Office, hours after he appeared to suggest otherwise during a Thursday interview on Fox Business.
Trump has made the issue of universal mail-in ballots a major issue of his 2020 campaign, saying the practice would invite fraud in the November election. He said he was willing to sign a bill funding USPS during a Thursday press briefing, but reiterated his fear that universal mail-in ballots could delay or delegitimize the results of the election.
Trump, under sharp questioning from @kaitlancollins, says he isn’t threatening to veto any legislation that funds the Postal Service and that he would consider signing separate legislation that included those funds. But he repeats his attack on mail-in voting. https://t.co/kaiipiqmnJ
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) August 13, 2020
Trump had appeared to suggest he was blocking USPS funding due to universal mail-in ballots earlier on Thursday.
Trump saying clearly on Fox why he won’t fund USPS. “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…But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting…”
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) August 13, 2020
Trump floated the idea of delaying the election on Twitter in July, saying mail-in ballots could result in a “rigged” election. He later clarified that he did not support a date change after receiving pushback from Republican allies on Capitol Hill.
“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)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was especially firm in his statement that the election would take place on November 3. Under the Constitution, only Congress has the authority to change the date of a presidential election.
“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,” McConnell 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.”