Trump says 'biggest risk' to re-election is not stopping increased mail-in voting

Many states are working to allow more people to cast ballots without going to the polls.
Image: President Donald Trump holds a roundtable discussion with Governors about economic reopening of closures due to COVID-19, known as coronavirus, in the State Dining Room of the White House
President Donald Trump holds a roundtable discussion with Governors about economic reopening of closures due to COVID-19, known as coronavirus, in the State Dining Room of the White House, June 18, 2020.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

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By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says in an interview that the "biggest risk" to his re-election prospects in November is increased mail-in voting and whether he can win lawsuits to stop its expansion.

"My biggest risk is that we don't win lawsuits," Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday with Politico that focused on the 2020 race.

"We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don't win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk," he added.

Politico said Trump was asked a two-part question during the interview about whether he would question the legitimacy of the election results if there is an overwhelming number of ballots cast by mail and whether he would accept the results no matter what.

"Well, you can never answer the second question, right? Because Hillary kept talking about she's going to accept, and they never accepted it. You know. She lost, too. She lost good," Trump said, according to Politico, which noted that Clinton conceded the day after the 2016 election.

Also on Thursday, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani requested in a phone call to a co-chair of the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates that a fourth presidential debate get added to the schedule, according to the Associated Press. Trump's team also expressed concern, the report says, that some ballots could be cast early by mail because of the coronavirus before the first debate is even held on Sept. 29.

NBC News previously reported that lawsuits that aim to expand access to mail-in voting in key battleground states could help determine the outcome of the election. Nonpartisan and Democratic groups have been supporting lawsuits filed in more than a dozen states in an effort to get rid of any administrative hurdles that could make voting by mail difficult or impossible for people.

Trump has railed against mail-in voting, claiming that it leads to widespread voter fraud and has repeatedly said that mail-in voting doesn’t help Republicans. There have been few documented cases of voter fraud, however, in the U.S. through voting by mail.