Donald Trump is now openly voicing the idea of not having an election in November due to "massive fraud" caused by people being allowed to vote for Joe Biden, or something.
President Donald Trump explicitly floated delaying November's presidential election on Thursday, lending extraordinary voice to persistent concerns that he would seek to circumvent voting in a contest where he currently trails his opponent by double digits.
Trump has no authority to delay an election, and the Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date for voting. Lawmakers from both parties said almost immediately there was no likelihood the election would be delayed.
Yet Trump's message provides an opening -- long feared by Democrats -- that both he and his supporters might refuse to accept the presidential results. In questioning the results ahead of time, Trump is priming those in his camp to doubt the legitimacy of whatever outcome emerges in the first weeks of November.
In his tweet on Thursday morning -- coming 96 days before the election and minutes after the federal government reported the worst economic contraction in recorded history -- Trump offered the suggestion because he claimed without evidence the contest will be flawed.
"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," he wrote. "Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"
There is no evidence that mail-in voting leads to fraud.
Trump has previously sought to stoke fear and lay the groundwork to question the election's results by promoting the idea that mail-in voting leads to widespread fraud and a "rigged" election. Democrats have warned his efforts are meant both to suppress voting and to provide a reason to refuse to leave office should he lose.
Trump's representatives had previously scoffed at Democratic suggestions he would attempt to delay the election, claiming they were unfounded conspiracies. His tweet on Thursday marks the first time Trump has openly raised the idea of moving the date of voting.
On Thursday, Trump's campaign said the President was offering a query.
"The President is just raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting," campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said. "They are using coronavirus as their means to try to institute universal mail-in voting, which means sending every registered voter a ballot whether they asked for one or not."
I'm glad Democrats understand that this is a ploy to undermine a Biden win giving cover to red states not to certify results showing Biden was victorious. Mitch McConnell anf the GOP poured cold water on this idiocy this afternoon.
Trump's remarks were immediately panned by many top Republicans interviewed by CNN. US Senators including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah —who represents a state where all registered voters are sent a mail ballot — said they disagreed with Trump and believed the election should go on as scheduled.
McConnell's top Republican counterpart in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNN that "Never in the history of federal elections have we ever not held an election and we should go forward with our election."
Still, keep an eye on this. There's plenty Republicans can do to delay, disenfranchise, and destroy this election, and they will.