Trump shrugs off outcry over Postal Service: ‘I’m just making it good’

President Trump on Monday dismissed a Democratic push for billions in U.S. Postal Service (USPS) funding as a “con game” and shrugged off concerns from lawmakers that he is undermining the agency ahead of November’s election.

“I’m just making it good,” Trump said when asked on “Fox & Friends” about claims that he is “sabotaging” the postal service. 

Trump complained that the agency has lost tens of billions of dollars over the last several years, though it is a government-funded service that is not necessarily designed to make a profit.

“We’re making it so it is going to be good, and we’re going to take care of our postal workers above all,” Trump said. “We’re not firing people, but the way they ran that thing for many years, this isn’t a Trump thing. … This has been one of the disasters of the world, the way it’s been run.”

“It’s been run horribly. And we’re going to make it good,” he continued. “Now what am I supposed to do? Let it continue to run badly? So if you fix it, they say ‘oh he’s tampering with the election.’ No, we’re not tampering.”

Democrats have advocated for $25 billion in USPS funding as part of the next coronavirus relief package, in addition to $3.5 billion in supplemental assistance to be used for election resources amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While some White House officials, including Trump, have at times expressed openness to approving additional funds for the USPS, the president on Monday dismissed those funds as politically motivated.

“This is a con game by Pelosi and Schumer,” Trump said, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), claiming what they were really after was aid for state and local governments in blue states that are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

The president’s comments signaled that the fight over the postal service was set to stretch further into August as lawmakers and watchdogs raise alarms over the USPS ahead of November, when voters are expected to rely more heavily on mail-in ballots due to the pandemic.

Pelosi is bringing the House back into session next weekend to address the USPS, and several Democrats have called for the postmaster general to testify or resign.

Many states have moved to expand mail-in voting in order to allow individuals to vote during the election without physically going to the polls. A handful of states already conduct their elections by mail, and experts note there is little evidence of meaningful fraud in mail ballots.

But Trump has attempted to sow doubt about the reliability of voting by mail, and critics believe he is kneecapping the USPS to further undermine mail ballots.

The Washington Post reported Friday that a top USPS official sent letters to 46 states and Washington, D.C., warning that it could not guarantee all ballots cast via mail for the upcoming election would arrive in time to be counted even if voters followed state guidelines for mail-in voting.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump mail-in voting Nancy Pelosi Postal Service United States Postal Service USPS USPS funding

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