One day after a controversial tweet suggesting that the presidential election could be moved back, Donald Trump appears to have changed course — in the opposite direction.
During a press availability on Friday, he continued his attack on mail-in ballots and claimed that the results of the voting could be compromised if this form of voting is extended, then said he wished the date would actually be moved up the calendar.
“I wish we would move it up, okay?” Trump told reporters, via Talking Points Memo. “Move it up.”
Trump drew more controversy for Friday’s comments, which included claims that Americans are “never going to know what the real result of an election is” if mail-in balloting were extended. He went on to claim that both Russia and China would be able to “forge ballots” — a statement that the report noted was offered without any evidence to back it up.
Trump has frequently taken aim at mail-in ballots, though this appears to be the first time he has expressed support for the idea of moving up the day Americans take to the polls. As many experts pointed out after the initial suggestion that the voting date may be moved back, he has no power to make such a decision. Voters in the United States have gone to the polls on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November, doing so even in times of great turmoil, including the Civil War.
Trump was still facing widespread criticism for his recommendation on Thursday that the election might need to be suspended indefinitely. As The Inquisitr reported, even some people who are normally in his corner blasted him for the statement, including the founder of the influential conservative outlet, the Federalist Society. In an opinion piece for The New York Times published hours after Trump’s suggestion, Steven Calabresi said that he finally came to agree with Democratic critics who saw his actions as showing signs of fascism.
“But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November vote. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate,” wrote Calabresi.
Other critics have said that Trump’s suggestion alone could call the legitimacy of the vote into question, creating a potentially turbulent scenario for the coming November.