Donald Trump Defends Calling For Election Delay: You May ‘Never Even Know’ Who Won With Mail-In Voting

U.S. President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One prior to his departure for a campaign event in Battle Creek, Michigan, December 18, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Donald Trump held a press conference on Thursday where he was asked if he stood by his early-morning tweet calling for a delay in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. While he initially said that he didn’t want to push back the election, he suggested that it may be necessary given that so many states are hoping to move to mail-in ballots as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage through the country.

“I don’t want to delay, I want to have the election,” Trump said in a video tweeted by Vox journalist Aaron Rupar, which you can view here.

“But I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything.”

Trump asserted that “everyone” knows this to be true, though “stupid people” may not, or may not want to talk about it.

“Our country will be a laughing stock all over the world, cause everyone knows it doesn’t work,” he said of mail-in voting.

When asked to clarify if he did or didn’t want a delay in the election, he responded that there were many court cases out there over the issue.

Trump also explained that mail-in voting was being challenged in some states and once again asserted that casting votes in that manner was riddled with fraud. This is a claim that has been contested by experts who say that it isn’t any more likely to result in fraud or errors than absentee voting, which Trump has expressed support for.

Trump then held up numerous articles that he claimed showed that the postal system was plagued by problems that would make the idea of sending in votes through the USPS unfeasible or untrustworthy. He said that even the “fake news” was right in this instance.

“Postmen are in big trouble now… voter fraud, all over the ballots,” he said.

He explained that he wanted to win on November 3 — something he said he hoped to do given his positive response to the coronavirus — and not be forced to wait for the results of the election.

He went on to claim that it could take years to know who won the election if the country largely moved to a system that relied on the post office, given the time it takes to count votes and the possibility of legal challenges. The president made these remarks in a clip that can be viewed here.

It’s possible that people would “never even know” who won, he suggested.

Trump downplayed his comments about pushing back the election, saying that he didn’t realize it would be met with such backlash.