‘I’m just making it good’: Trump denies accusations he’s attempting to undermine the USPS prior to 2020 election

'We’re making it so it is going to be good, and we’re going to take care of our postal workers above all,' Mr Trump says

Danielle Zoellner
New York
@dani__zoellner
Monday 17 August 2020 18:50
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Trump calls universal mail-in voting a 'catastrophic situation'

President Donald Trump has dismissed accusations that he is attempting to undermine the United States Postal Service (USPS) in an effort to win the November presidential election.

“I’m just making it good,” Mr Trump said when speaking on Fox & Friends Monday morning.

The hosts specifically asked the president if he was attempting to “sabotage” the postal service, an accusation Mr Trump shrugged off.

“We’re making it so it is going to be good, and we’re going to take care of our postal workers above all,” Mr Trump said. “We’re not firing people, but the way they ran that thing for many years, this isn’t a Trump thing... This has been one of the disasters of the world the way it’s been run.”

“It’s been run horribly. And we’re going to make it good,” he added. “Now what am I supposed to do? Let it continue to run badly. So if you fix it, they say ‘oh he’s tampering with the election.’ No, we’re not tampering.”

Mr Trump has claimed that the service has lost billions of dollars of profit, but the USPS is actually a federally-funded government entity, meaning it is not necessarily meant to boast a huge profit.

Conversations surrounding the USPS have come to light in recent weeks as more states are preparing to hold mail-in ballots as an option for the upcoming election. These plans are being put in place to lessen the number of voters gathering at polling locations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for all House lawmakers to return to Washington DC this week during their recess to vote on a bill that would fund the USPS before the election.

Democratic lawmakers have pushed for $25bn in funding to the USPS as an addition to the next coronavirus relief package. Also, $3.5bn would be designated towards services within USPS directly related to the upcoming election.

Mr Trump, even though he’s said he was not opposed to giving more funding to the USPS, has called these efforts by Democratic lawmakers a “con”.

“This is a con game by Pelosi and Schumer,” Mr Trump said, referring to Ms Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Mr Schumer, a Democrat of New York, has put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to agree to call the Senate into session to vote on the USPS legislation if it were to pass in the House.

All of this comes after Postmaster General Louis Dejoy, a Donald Trump appointee and supporter of the president, has made sweeping changes in a bid to help the USPS save money amid a decline in revenue. Changes included adjusting delivery policies and overtime pay for workers, which could impact the speed in which people receive their mail.

On Friday, a top USPS official sent a letter to 46 states and Washington DC to warn that the service could not guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the upcoming election would arrive on time, The Washington Post reported.

Mr Trump also confirmed last week on Fox News that he was against any push from Democrats to help fund the USPS before the election, hinting that method would impede his plans to make mail-in voting more accessible.

“They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Mr Trump said. “If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.”

Nine states currently have universal mail-in voting in place where voters automatically receive their ballot in the mail. In some of these states, such as Colorado and Utah, this has been part of their voting system for years without complaints from lawmakers.

Other states have implemented mail-in ballots for the upcoming election by having voters request their ballot by a specific date.

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