23.02.2024

President doubles down on possible election delay and threatens to send National Guard to Portland

Donald Trump’s tweet suggesting that the 2020 presidential election could be postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic set off a day of wild speculation as to whether he would, could, or how that would even look if he did.

After saying that a mail-in ballot system would create the «most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history», the president double-downed during his White House press conference, saying he doesn’t want to wait weeks, months or even years for the result of the election to be known.

The reaction to an election delay made its way into the funeral for civil rights icon John Lewis, with Barack Obama turning his eulogy into a call to action for voting reform in a speech that, while it didn’t mention Trump by name, left no one in doubt that the president was the target of his aim.

At the same press conference, Trump threatened to send in the National Guard to Portland after the Department of Homeland Security earlier announced a deal for Oregon State Police to step in and keep the peace. He said the professional agitators and professional anarchists that hate the United States made the city a «beehive of terrorists».

Before he threatened to send troops into Portland, Trump said US soldiers were being removed from Germany because the country was delinquent in its fees to Nato while still paying Russia billions for energy.

Elsewhere, a federal appeals court ruled it would review a judge’s attempt to examine the Justice Department’s decision to drop its criminal case against Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

It came as Trump’s ally Herman Cain died after he was hospitalised with the coronavirus. Mr Cain attended Mr Trump’s Tulsa rally in June and was pictured without a mask, but it was unclear if that was where he first contracted the novel virus.

Donald Trump can’t (legally) move the 2020 election — but may have something else in mind

Donald Trump’s crusade against mail-in voting continued on Thursday when he floated the idea of delaying the 2020 US election until in-person voting was feasible.

«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. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???» Mr Trump tweeted.

The president’s concerns with mail in voting have been debunked by elections experts. But could he actually move the election?

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic challenger to Mr Trump, issued an unsettling warning to his supporters in April about the subject.

«Mark my words, I think Trump is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,» he said during the event. «That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.»

Graig Graziosi has more.

ICYMI: Trump suggests delaying 2020 election over unfounded claims mail-in voting will be ‘fraudulent’

Donald Trump has suggested delaying the upcoming presidential election in order for people to vote «safely», as he continues to claim mail-in ballots will lead to fraudulent results.

The suggestion was made in a tweet shared to his more than 84 million followers on Thursday.

«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. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???» Mr Trump wrote.

Congress holds the power to set the dates for federal elections, not the president. The Constitution also does not make any provisions for a delay in the presidential inauguration, set for 21 January, 2021.

FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub said Mr Trump does not have the power to move the election, «nor should it be moved», Reuters reported.

Trump doesn’t want an election delay… BUT…

… he also doesn’t want to wait for three months to wait for results from mail-in ballots.

We’re not any clearer on whether Trump meant his tweet on delaying the election today, which he said has «had an interesting impact».

«I don’t want to see an election, so many years I’ve been watching elections, and they say the projected winner, or the winner of the election, I don’t want to see that take place and a week after November 3rd, or a month, or frankly, with litigation and everything else that can happen years. Or you never even know who won the election,» he said.

«I want to have the result of the election. I don’t want to be waiting around for weeks and months and literally, potentially if you really did it right, years, because you’ll never know. These ballots are missing.»

He added: «I don’t want to delay, I want to have the election. But I also don’t’ want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything. That’s what’s going to happen.»

Breaking news: Michael Flynn case takes another unexpected turn as full appeals court agrees to reconsider ruling

A federal appeals court will review a judge’s attempt to examine the Justice Department’s decision to drop its criminal case against Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

The long-unusual saga got even more unusual on Thursday when the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit agreed to examine US District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s appointment of a retired federal judge to look at how DOJ handled its case.

Oral arguments are slated for 11 August.

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