House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said “of course” she would accept November’s election results as legitimate if President Donald Trump were to win reelection, but added that she and Democrats would not ignore Russian interference in the election.
“Of course. But that doesn’t mean that we will not shout out against his initiatives, whether it’s to tie up the Postal Service so that we will not have the opportunity for people to vote by mail, to not having to choose between their health and their vote,” Pelosi told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “It doesn’t mean that we ignore the Russian interference into our election and they try to cloak it by saying, ‘Well, we look at many countries.’ No, the Russians 24/7 are interfering into our election.”
The California Democrat continued, “The President welcomes it. So, again, it isn’t a question of accepting the result. The question is, is making sure the public knows that they must vote, they must have a plan to vote, they must vote early because their playbook is one that has all kinds of obstacles to participation in our country.”
Her comment comes as the coronavirus pandemic has forced states to reconsider traditional voting methods and gravitate toward mail-in voting. Democrats, including Pelosi, have accused Trump of attempting to “suppress the vote” as he continues to question the legitimacy of mail-in voting and falsely claim that mail-in voting will lead to mass voter fraud. Trump has denied his aim is to discourage people from casting their ballots.
Pelosi on Sunday urged people to ignore Trump’s recent comments questioning the legitimacy of mail-in voting.
“The best thing, all the time, is to ignore what he has to say, because it has no association with fact, validity or truth,” Pelosi said. “He may have his bully pulpit, but we have the American people and we’ll make sure they turn out to vote.”
‘Bare leaves’ on relief legislation
The House on Saturday approved legislation, the Delivering for America Act, to allocate $25 billion to the US Postal Service and ban operational changes that have slowed mail service. The Republican-led Senate is not expected to take up the bill in its current form and the White House threatened to veto it.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Saturday tweeted the Speaker should pass legislation, including relief for small businesses and the unemployed, in addition to USPS funding, if she really wanted to help Americans. Pelosi on Sunday responded that the administration had put forth “bare leaves” and “of course they don’t want to do anything about the election” – while noting that the proposed $25 billion for the USPS would also enable veterans to get their mailed prescriptions on time.
Pelosi also said she “can’t see” how the Republican-led Senate can “avoid” the USPS funding legislation, which she noted “should be bipartisan.”
Meadows said Sunday that Trump would be willing to sign a bill that included Postal Service funding and reform – but only if Democrats agreed to include other economic relief measures along with it.
“My challenge to the Speaker [Pelosi] this morning would be this – if we agree on five, six things – let’s go ahead and pass those,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I spoke to the President early this morning. He’s willing to sign that, including Postal Service reform, that making sure that the money is there to make sure that deliveries of first-class mail are handled quickly, efficiently, and on time.”
Meadows said he planned to call Pelosi later Sunday and noted he met with a number of congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill Saturday. Meadows told reporters he had tried to see the Speaker, but she was in a meeting and so he left a note. CNN’s Phil Mattingly reported that there was no meeting on the books.
Meadows, in a separate interview Sunday, called the House-passed legislation a “largely messaging bill because it going absolutely nowhere.”
“It has everything to do with a political statement,” Meadows said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Here’s how I know. Because in the privacy of the negotiating room, I offered $10 billion plus reforms for the Postal Service that actually they’ve been asking for for a long time, to Speaker Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.”
CNN has reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CNN’s Sarah Westwood and Nick Neville contributed to this story.