- President Trump clarified his tweet in a press conference held at the White House on Thursday evening.
- The idea was immediately rejected by both Democrats and Republicans.
- Trump's statement on Twitter comes at a time when the United States is facing its biggest crisis in decades.
US President Donald Trump has raised the idea of delaying the November 3 presidential election, which has met with immediate opposition from Democrats and his fellow Republicans in Congress. Under US law, only they have the sole authority to make such a decision.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” Trump tweeted. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
President Trump clarified his tweet in a press conference held at the White House on Thursday evening. He said he did not ask to change the date of the elections, scheduled for November 3, but he did not want the elections to be “inaccurate and fraudulent.”
A Trump re-election campaign spokesman also said the president was only “asking” when he wrote on Twitter earlier Thursday about the possible delay of the November 3 presidential election, CNN news reported. .
“You’re sending out hundreds of millions of universal mail-in ballots. Hundreds of millions,” Mr. Trump said. “Where are they going? Who are they being sent to? You don’t have to know anything about politics.”
“I don’t want to see a crooked election,” Mr. Trump continued, referring to allowing Americans to use mail-in voting. “This will be the most rigged election in history if that happens.”
Critics, and even Trump’s allies, dismissed the idea as an unsuccessful attempt to deflect attention from bad economic news, while legal experts warned that his repeated attacks could undermine his supporters’ confidence in the electoral process.
Trump, without providing evidence, reiterated his allegations of vote-rigging when voting in the mail and raised the question of the postponement.
Many Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), rejected the idea. “Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3,” Sen. McConnell said.
And Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Chair of the Committee on House Administration, rejected any delay.
“Only Congress can change the date of our elections, and under no circumstances will we consider doing so to accommodate the President’s inept and haphazard response to the coronavirus pandemic, or give credence to the lies and misinformation he spreads regarding the manner in which Americans can safely and securely cast their ballots.”
Trump wrote on Twitter later Thursday that Americans need to know the election results on the evening of voting day, and not days or months later.
“By the way, as these numbers have gotten worse, what did he do today?” Mr. Biden said. “He called for not having the election on Nov. 3. He wants to postpone the election. Well that’s for two reasons. One, he believes it,” Mr. Biden said
Trump’s statement on Twitter comes at a time when the United States is facing its biggest crisis in decades, the epidemic of the Coronavirus that has killed more than 150,000 people. It has also caused severe stagnation as a result of the epidemic, and nationwide protests against police violence and racism.
Opinion polls show Trump is lagging behind his Democratic opponent and former Vice President Joe Biden.