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Trump says election workers, not USPS, could lead to 2020 miscount

Trump has routinely railed against mail-in voting as Democrats seek to expand access to casting absentee ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Image: Republicans Hold Virtual 2020 National Convention
President Donald Trump speaks on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Aug. 24, 2020.Jessica Koscielniak / Pool via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is shifting his focus from the U.S. Postal Service in his concerns about potential fraud in mail-in voting, claiming problems with mailed ballots lie with local elections officials who are "going to count them wrong."

In an interview with The Washington Examiner in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Trump was asked to confirm that he’s not worried about USPS’s ability to deliver ballots.

"No," Trump said. "It's not the post office ... it has nothing to do with the post office."

Even if mail delivery occurred "a day late,” Trump said, “that’s not the problem.”

“The problem is when they dump all these [ballots] in front of a few people who are counting them, and they're going to count them wrong," the president said in the interview, without offering evidence. "The post office is not to blame.”

The president reiterated that the “only thing” he’s concerned about are “unsolicited ballots, where they're going to send 80 million unsolicited ballots to people that they don't even know if they're alive or if they're living there. I think it is a catastrophic disaster for this country."

There’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States, according to numerous investigations and studies, and the president’s own voter fraud investigatory committee disbanded without producing evidence of any systemic issues. Election officials in mail voting states say they don't have problems with fraud.

Trump suggested in the interview, published late Wednesday, that it will be election workers who will botch the tally in November and said that the USPS has been operating in the same way for a long time.

"It's not the post office," Trump said. "No, it's the elections office. The post office — look, this is a con job. It's like the Russian hoax. The post office has run the way it's been run forever." He added that new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will do a good job. "But the post office is the post office."

Trump has routinely railed against mail-in voting as Democrats seek to expand access to casting absentee ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. The president, meanwhile, has requested an absentee ballot for himself that will allow him to vote in Florida, but remotely.

Earlier this month, Trump voiced opposition to any funding boost for the USPS passed by Congress, though he later said that if it were wrapped into a larger coronavirus relief package, he wouldn’t veto it.

More recently, the president began suggesting that election drop boxes will become a problem as people deliver their absentee ballots, arguing that it would lead to widespread fraud.