Trump warns presidential election result may not be known for 'years,' as allegations of election rigging grow
- On Saturday, President Donald Trump suggested that knowing the result of the presidential election could take "years" as he continued to sow doubts about mail-in voting.
- "You know what? You're not going to know this — possibly if you really did it right — for months or for years," said Trump at a press briefing in Bedminster, New Jersey.
- Democrats have accused Trump of seeking to stitch-up the election by refusing to provide funding for the USPS to cope with an expected surge in mail-in votes.
- The president claims mail-in voting is exposed to widespread fraud, a claim dismissed by many election officials and experts.
- Trump currently trails the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the polls.
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President Donald Trump, in remarks to reporters, said that knowing the result of this year's presidential election could take "months" or "years," as he continued to cast doubt on mail-in votes ahead of an expected surge in the number of Americans casting their ballot by post.
"Usually at the end of the evening, they say 'Donald Trump has won the election, Donald Trump is your new president,'" Trump said during the remarks at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
"You know what? You're not going to know this — possibly, if you really did it right — for months or for years. Because these ballots are all going to be lost, they're all going to be gone," Trump said, as reported by NBC.
—The Hill (@thehill) August 15, 2020
The president's remarks came as concern grows about Trump's refusal to provide the US Postal Service (USPS) with a funding increase to cope with an expected surge in ballots delivered by post, and his repeated attempts to seed doubts about the integrity of mail-in voting.
—Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) August 15, 2020
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a massive increase in the number of Americans casting mail-in votes this year is expected. The New York Times found that 76% of Americans are eligible to cast their ballot by post.
As he trails in polls to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Trump has claimed that mail-in voting is exposed to widespread fraud — a claim dismissed by election officials and election experts.
While admitting that the USPS can't cope with an expected increase in postal votes, Trump refuses to authorize a $25 billion (R438 billion) funding increase for the agency, demanded by the Democratic Party as part of a coronavirus bailout bill.
At the briefing, Trump also defended Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump donor appointed to the role in May, who has introduced a series of controversial reforms critics say have reduced the service's capacity to process and deliver mail in a timely way.
Numerous states seeking to expand mail-in voting have been told by the USPS that there is not enough time before the November 3 election to process mail-in ballots, reported NBC News.
"I don't know. I don't know what he's doing," Trump said. "I can only tell you he's a very smart man."
In a statement Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump is "openly working to destroy the Post Office and sabotage its ability to deliver absentee ballots in time to be counted. All patriots, Democrats, Independents or Republicans, should reject the President's assault on the Postal System in this election season."
Pelosi and other top Democrats are considering bringing the House back early to address the USPS crisis, reported Axios.
On Saturday, former Democratic president Bill Clinton criticized Trump's "attack" on the Postal Service, with another former Democratic president, Barack Obama, called it an attempt to "kneecap" the USPS to suppress mail-in votes.
"We expect our elected officials to protect the right to vote and to ensure every vote is counted," tweeted Clinton. "This attack on the Postal Service —an institution as old as the Republic itself and depended upon, and trusted by, millions of Americans— is designed to ensure that neither is done."