Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Thursday that President Donald Trump “is incorrect” when he says the United States Postal Service isn’t equipped to handle the surge in mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has repeatedly railed against mail-in voting, falsely claiming that it will lead to widespread voter fraud while also encouraging his supporters to cast their ballots by mail. The President also said in August he opposed additional funding for the USPS because he didn’t want to see it used for mail-in voting in the November election while claiming the Postal Service could not handle the volume of ballots.
“The Postal Service will do it’s job to deliver the ballots. When the President goes into that the Postal Service doesn’t – is not equipped to do it, which, he is incorrect with that,” DeJoy said during a virtual event by The Economic Club of Washington, DC. “We’re equipped to do it and we’re going to deliver ballots.”
He also said he’s “had very little conversation” with the Trump administration about USPS operations and that no one told him to slow mail service, which has affected Americans in recent months.
“No. No, no and a million times, no. I’ve had very little conversation with the administration,” DeJoy said. “The Postal Service is an independent organization. I report to a board of governors, a bipartisan board of governors, and that’s where we, where my plans for what we do with the Postal Service get approved.”
He added, “So to date … I’ve had no input from the White House on anything, nor would they have any authority to direct me to do any anything.”
On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the USPS must prioritize election mail and reversed some policy changes imposed by DeJoy, following a similar decision by another judge in Washington state on Friday to block policy changes at the agency.
Asked if he would appeal the decision, DeJoy said in many cases what the judges decided were changes he already planned to put in place. “We are in negotiations with them,” he said, adding that he hopes those negotiations come to a conclusion that will allow USPS to avoid appeals.
“At the end of the day we abide by the law and decisions will be made between us and the Justice Department whether we appeal them or not.”
CNN’s Marshall Cohen, Katelyn Polantz, Paul P. Murphy and Sonia Moghe contributed to this report.