Al Gore: Trump is 'putting his knee on the neck of American democracy'

Former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreMcAuliffe on 2000 election: 'I wish the United States Supreme Court had let them finish counting the votes' All Democrats must compromise to pass economic plans, just like 1993 Amy Coney Barrett sullies the Supreme Court MORE said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE is “putting his knee on the neck of American democracy” by not providing more funding ahead of the election for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Gore told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that with more people likely to vote by mail given the coronavirus pandemic, it is imperative that the postal service have sufficient funds.

He also suggested that cost-saving measures put into place by Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyAmerica is not delivering David Dayen details unique features of Postal Service banking 20 state attorneys general sue over Postal Service slowdown MORE were political and “an act of desperation” by the administration. Those measures have been criticized for slowing delivery.

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“During a pandemic, there are lots of older voters and voters of all ages with pre-existing conditions who worry they can’t breathe safely standing in line to vote,” he said.

“By tampering with the postal service he is in effect putting his knee on the neck of American democracy and trying to make it impossible for people to vote by mail,” he added.

Gore, a former Democratic nominee for president, added that he suspects President Trump has “gone too far on this, even for him.”

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“Because the Republican members of the House and Senate are really hearing from outraged voters,” he said. “Veterans who aren’t getting their medicine, people who aren’t getting their paychecks. People who are expecting things in the mail and not receiving them.”

“This is really an outrageous assault on an American institution that goes back to the very beginning of our country,” he added.

The former vice president asserted that he thinks “there will be a verdict rendered at the polls that will be truly historic” in reaction to the USPS changes. 

Gore’s remarks came a day before DeJoy agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee next week. This Saturday the House is expected to vote on legislation to prevent the postal service from making the new changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The USPS warned state officials last week that ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted on Election Day. 

President Trump at first said he would shoot down any funding to the postal service intended to increase mail-in voting. But he later shifted, saying he would consider signing such a bill if Democrats made other sacrifices in the coronavirus relief package.