collins trump split briefing aug 13
Collins pushes Trump on USPS money and mail-in ballots
06:41 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday said he doesn’t share President Donald Trump’s “concern” surrounding the United States Postal Service and mail-in voting ahead of the November election and said the agency “is going to be just fine.”

On Thursday, Trump said he was against funding for the Postal Service and tied it to mail-in voting, falsely claiming that the practice will lead to widespread voter fraud. Democrats are also concerned a recent change in policies at the USPS by officials could slow down mail and compromise the election.

Asked about voters being disenfranchised, Trump’s comments opposing USPS funding and whether he believes the USPS should be defunded, McConnell said, “The Postal Service is going to be just fine.”

“We’re going to make sure that the ability to function going into the election is not adversely affected,” the Kentucky Republican said at a press event at a medical center in Hart County, Kentucky. “I don’t share the concern, the President’s concern … and, in fact, (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin), in discussions with (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi), had already indicated the administration is prepared to spend up to $10 billion just to make sure the Post office is on good terms going into the November election.”

Pelosi on Sunday wrote a letter to Democrats stating that she wanted the House to return this week to act on the issues regarding the USPS, and Democratic leadership has requested Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors Robert Duncan testify before Congress on August 24.

According to a letter released Friday night, USPS warned nearly all 50 states and Washington, DC, that voters could be at risk of not having their mail-in ballots returned to election officials in time to be counted due to election rules in their respective states.

Trump, who has frequently criticized mail-in voting, told Fox News Thursday that if USPS does not receive the additional $25 billion funding request that Democrats included in the ongoing stimulus negotiations, then he believes the Postal Service won’t be able to handle the influx of mail-in ballots in the upcoming election.

“They want three and a half billion dollars for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent, that’s election money basically. They want three and a half billion dollars for the mail-in votes. Universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said, repeating his false claims that mail-in voting would be “fraudulent.”

He added, “But 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.”

By directly linking USPS funding to mail-in voting, Trump is fueling allegations that he is trying to manipulate the postal system for political gain. The pandemic has led to record-shattering levels of voting-by-mail, but Trump has tried to restrict the voting method because he says it will hurt his reelection and Republicans across the board.

CNN’s Marshall Cohen, Jason Hoffman and Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.