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Trump describes mail-in voting as biggest threat to reelection

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE on Thursday said he sees mail-in voting as the biggest threat to his reelection in an interview with Politico that was published Friday.

“My biggest risk is that we don’t win lawsuits,” Trump told the news outlet. “We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don’t win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk.”

The Republican National Committee and Trump’s reelection campaign are investing $20 million to fight voting rights lawsuits that have popped up across the country in attempts to allow for Americans to safely vote without physically having to visit the polls due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Trump and other Republicans have argued that substantial mail-in voting would lead to widespread fraud, though experts say there is minimal evidence of meaningful fraud associated with the process.

Asked by Politico whether a large amount of mail-in voting would lead him to question the election’s legitimacy and whether he would accept the November results no matter what, Trump did not offer a clear answer. 

“Well, you can never answer the second question, right? Because Hillary [Clinton] kept talking about she’s going to accept, and they never accepted it. You know. She lost too. She lost good,” Trump said.

Clinton, Trump’s 2016 Democratic opponent, conceded in a speech the day after Election Day.

Trump has repeatedly sought to discredit mail-in voting in recent months, calling it “corrupt” and “very dangerous.” The president threatened to withhold federal funding from Michigan and Nevada in May over the states’ efforts to expand mail-in voting in order to make it safer for voters to cast ballots during the pandemic.

Trump has also at times suggested that mail-in voting would benefit Democrats and hurt the Republican Party. 

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“MAIL-IN VOTING WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE FRAUD AND ABUSE. IT WILL ALSO LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY. WE CAN NEVER LET THIS TRAGEDY BEFALL OUR NATION,” Trump tweeted last month. 

Some have warned that Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting could be an attempt to preemptively discredit the results of the general election in November should he lose. 

Trump is currently trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: 'He's been very, very helpful' MORE in a number of national polls as well as in numerous surveys in battleground states. Biden's lead has widened following scrutiny of Trump's handling of the coronavirus and as protests have erupted nationwide following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

Trump is looking to give his reelection effort a boost with his first rally since March, set for Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., despite pleas from a number of health experts to avoid mass gatherings amid the ongoing pandemic.

The president had been forced to suspend the massive events for several months due to the coronavirus.