Barack Obama has condemned President Donald Trump for trying to "actively kneel" in the postal service in order to disenfranchise voters.
Obama did not say Trump's name, but referred to the "President" in some of his toughest, direct criticisms of Trump in his interview on the podcast of David Plouffe, his former campaign manager.
"What we have seen in a way that is unique to modern political history is a president who is specifically trying to keep people from voting," Obama said. "What we have never seen before is a President say:" I will try to actively kneel the Postal Service to encourage voting and I will explicitly state why I am doing this. "
"It's kind of unknown," he added.
Barack Obama has condemned President Donald Trump for trying to "kneel" the US Postal Service in one of its harshest criticisms of Trump yet
Obama's criticism comes as the U.S. Postal Service enters a period of crisis – attacked by President Trump, who falsely said that postal ballots cause election fraud and called the Post, which is unable to process the millions of ballot papers that are being issued expected to go through the competition in November.
And the Democrats dragged new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy – a major Republican donor and major contributor to President Trump – to Capitol Hill to question him about guidelines postal workers claim are causing mail deliveries, including wage cuts over the course of the year Remove time, layoffs of executives and sorting machines.
The Inspector General of the US Postal Service is launching a review of DeJoy's policies at the request of Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, CNN reported.
And 46 states – many of which will play a key role in deciding who will win the White House in November – have been warned by the postal service that it cannot guarantee that all postal ballot papers will arrive in time to be counted.
Obama became the best-known name to heighten his criticism of the situation when he accused Trump of starving the U.S. Postal Service with much-needed funds to ensure his re-election. The former president urged Republicans to do something about it.
"You now have the President using that extra wrench to starve the postal service," Obama said. "My question is, what do Republicans do when they are so afraid of the people who will vote that you are ready now to undermine what is part of the basic infrastructure of American life?"
The former president's allegations come when the U.S. Postal Service sent detailed letters to 46 states and the District of Columbia warning that all postal ballot papers cannot be guaranteed to arrive in time to be counted for the November election reported the Washington Post.
The letters indicate that even if a voter follows all of the rules in the state to vote by mail, their vote may not count. Millions of voters are expected to use the post office this November to fear the coronavirus.
The Post was embroiled in a political dispute between Democrats and President Trump over an emergency funding scheme for the service that was supposed to provide financial relief from the coronavirus. Democrats want $ 25 billion for the service, but President Trump called it election money, though he's since hinted that he may be inclined to close a deal.
Democratic Congress spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also slammed Trump as the two sides negotiated money for the postal service as part of the coronavirus relief talks.
"The President, his friends and Republicans in Congress continue to carry out their sweeping attack on the postal service and its role in ensuring the integrity of the 2020 elections," the two leaders said in a joint statement.
Meanwhile, concerns about postal voting have increased after the Postal Service warned officials in the critical battlefield state of Pennsylvania that some ballot papers may not be delivered on time.
Michigan and Florida are other key states where ballot papers may not be counted due to postal delays.
In addition, it was revealed that President Trump had an Oval Office meeting with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy last week on allegations that the Republican Party's billionaire mega-donor had introduced policies that delay the delivery of mail.
The White House told the Washington Post that the meeting was a "congratulations" meeting as DeJoy was recently appointed to the position, but it did so before his tense meeting on Capitol Hill last week with Democratic Leader Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
Concern about mail-in ballots getting to officials in time to be counted has increased as President Donald Trump criticized the system but requested a postal vote from Florida
It was announced that President Donald Trump had held an Oval Office meeting with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (above) last week prior to DeJoy's meeting with Democrats on Capitol Hill
Officials in Pennsylvania have asked the state Supreme Court to extend the voting period after the U.S. Postal Service issued a warning that all ballots may not be delivered on time
Trump has said he didn't speak to DeJoy about the new policies he put in place in the postal system – including laying off executives and limiting overtime, which DeJoy says is supposed to make the service financially solvable.
With nearly 180 million voters eligible to vote in November, concern has built up over whether these ballot papers will get to state officials in time to be counted. President Trump was an outspoken critic of the postal vote, but postal workers accuse DeJoy's new policies of causing delays that Democrats say could lead to the disenfranchisement of voters.
Several battlefield states that will determine the competition are expected to be affected, including Pennsylvania, where the US Postal Service warned in a July 29 letter that “significant risk” ballots would not be delivered on time because of voting deadlines the state adhered to too closely for "delivery standards".
There, election officials have asked the state Supreme Court to extend voting deadlines to ensure every ballot is counted, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
If the state court approves the outcome of the competition between Trump and alleged Democratic candidate Joe Biden, it may not be known until days after election day.
Trump won the state with less than 1 percent of the vote in 2016 and this year's competition could be just as close.
State officials, led by the government of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, want the court to allow postal ballot papers to be counted if they are received by the Friday after polling day, unless there is evidence that they were mailed after November 2nd – like z a postmark.
Pennsylvania law currently requires postal ballot papers to be received by 8:00 p.m. to be counted on election day.
The state will also set up drop boxes where voters can drop their ballots instead of relying on the postal system.
Several other states are grappling with mail-in reconciliation issues after governors expanded this option to fight the coronavirus.
Trump has been a longtime critic of the mail-in vote but defends the postal vote. He and First Lady Melania Trump have already requested and received postal votes in Florida to vote in the November election.
In addition, the Republican National Committee told the Associated Press it had doubled its statutory budget to sue states to $ 20 million on the postal voting issue and is currently involved in about 40 election-related lawsuits.
Meanwhile, President Trump said Thursday he was blocking the coronavirus relief effort over the Democrats' request for funding for the post office, arguing that it was "voting money" for the universal postal vote.
"Now you need this money to make the post office work, so that all these millions and millions of ballots are needed," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business, Maria Bartiromo.
Democrats poured $ 25 billion into their $ 3 trillion version of coronavirus relief legislation for emergency post office funding – money President Trump rejects.
"This is basically voting money," he told Bartiromo.
"If you don't get these two items, it means you can't have a universal mail-in vote," he explained on both mail funding and the Democratic total of $ 3 trillion.
“If we don't make a deal now, it means they won't get the money. That means they can't have universal mail-in reconciliation. You just can't have it, ”he said.
President Donald Trump said he interrupted coronavirus relief talks because he did not want a Democratic provision to provide additional funding for the post office, arguing that this will lead to a universal mail-in vote
Many states are using mail-in voting to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Postal voting has been the norm for years in Washington State, where election workers sort ballot papers for the above-mentioned votes
Florida voters cast their ballots in the August primary
NO CHECKS WITHOUT OFFER, IRS INSIDER WARNS
An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) insider believes Americans may not get their second stimulus check until September if Congress can't reach an agreement by Friday.
Chad Hooper, the national president of the Professional Managers Association, said To grow that the IRS is "better positioned to write a second check" than it was in April, but Congress just needs to reach an agreement.
Otherwise, it would mean Americans, especially the more than 30 million unemployed, may have to wait until September for the second round of relief.
However, if lawmakers can close the deal by Friday, most stimulus checks could be sent out that month.
In the first round of relief, checks for up to $ 1,200 were issued to millions.
President Trump is a frequent and ardent critic of postal voting, which he believes leads to electoral fraud – a claim that has been heavily contested by critics and even by his own party and fears that if its supporters fail to send their ballots, they will lose votes.
He and the Republican Party have filed lawsuits in states that opted for a general mail-in vote in November to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
But his comments on Thursday were some of his most specific to date, about how he planned to stop mail-in polls this fall.
"They want $ 25 billion for the post office because the post office has to go to town to get those great, ridiculous ballots," Trump complained.
Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said mail-in voting was a "health problem" this year amid the coronavirus that has infected more than 5 million Americans.
"It's a health problem in 2019," she said Thursday morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
"It's even more in the pandemic period, so when the president goes after the postal service, he's going after an All-American who is highly recognized by the public institution; as we would say – before you were born – motherhood, apple pie , the postal service, an all-American institution, ”she added.
And alleged Democratic candidate Joe Biden said the president doesn't want a election.
& # 39; Pure Trump. He doesn't want a vote, ”he told reporters at an event in Wilmington when asked for the president's comments.
Governors expressed concern about long lines at the ballot box, pointing out that many election workers are retirees, which puts them in the high risk category for the disease.
And the Post has warned states to consider the time it takes to send and return ballots to ensure on-time delivery for the November elections. Postal workers have alleged changes made by DeJoy – a Republican donor nominated by Trump for the job – caused delays in the mail.
It has sparked fears among Democrats that the postal service will become politicized before November and that the millions of voters who are expected to use the system to cast their ballots may be disenfranchised.
DeJoy has denied the allegation.
"Despite claims to the contrary, we are not slowing down election mail or any other post," he said last week.
Nevada, California, and Vermont have opted for universal mail-in voting because of the virus. Five states are already holding postal votes. And many other states have allowed coronavirus fear to be used as a reason to apply for a postal vote. Other states, such as Michigan, preventively send postal ballots to all registered voters.
In several of these states, Republicans are suing to stop these efforts. They claim mail-in voting results in "ballot harvest" – a process where the voter fills out their ballot, but the party volunteers send it in for that voter and other voters. Democrats counter that they are merely collecting ballots from those who vote to make sure they are delivered.
President Trump often railed against the widespread mail-in voting, claiming it would increase the likelihood of fraud and disproportionately benefit Democrats. Studies have shown that there is very little electoral fraud in the United States
President Trump proposed in his press conference on Wednesday not to sign an aid bill that provides billions for postal votes.
"They rejected this bill because they wanted radical left agenda items that no one in their right mind would approve," Trump said of Democrats who refused to approve the GOP bill proposed late last month.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has denied that there is politics in the Post before the November elections
"The bill won't happen because they don't even want to talk about it, because we can't give them the ridiculous things they want that have nothing to do with the China virus," he said, referring to emails again -in vote and money for the post.
"So they don't have the money to do the universal mail-in voting, so they can't, I guess, can they?" He suggested. "Will you do it even though you don't have the money?"
He also argued that what Democrats are doing poses a greater threat than the November elections than reports from US state officials that Russia, China and Iran are trying to meddle in the presidential contest.
"It will be the biggest fraud in the history of the elections," he argued to the Democrats.
Trump's reveal of his role in blocking the coronavirus relief effort comes as negotiations between the government and Capitol Hill stalled.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has tried to blame the Democrats for unwillingness to negotiate.
Pelosi spokesman and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer countered that they offered to step back from their $ 3 trillion proposal if Republicans get off their $ 1 trillion proposal and get in the middle hit with $ 2 trillion.
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