Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act: a bill long overdue MORE's campaign on Thursday ripped President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE's opposition to funding for the U.S. Postal Service, calling it "an assault on our democracy."
The Biden campaign seized on comments Trump made to Fox Business Network, where he signaled that he was against approving funding for the Postal Service that Democrats have pushed as part of coronavirus legislation because it would strengthen access to mail-in ballots.
"The President of the United States is sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon, cutting a critical lifeline for rural economies and for delivery of medicines, because he wants to deprive Americans of their fundamental right to vote safely during the most catastrophic public health crisis in over 100 years," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.
"Even Donald Trump's own campaign has endorsed voting by mail and his own administration has conclusively refuted his wild-eyed conspiracy theories about the most secure form of voting," Bates added. "This is an assault on our democracy and economy by a desperate man who's terrified that the American people will force him to confront what he's done everything in his power to escape for months — responsibility for his own actions."
Trump suggested to Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoDeSantis eyes ,000 bonus for unvaccinated police to relocate to Florida Judge: Request for Tucker Carlson personnel files is 'intrusive' The Memo: Fall in white population could add fuel to nativist fire MORE earlier Thursday that he was unwilling to make a deal with Democrats that included funding for the Postal Service because his refusal would hamper efforts to send and receive mail ballots.
"They want $25 billion for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots," Trump said. "Now in the meantime, they aren't getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don't get those two items that means you can't have universal mail-in voting, because they're not equipped to have it."
"Now, if we don't make a deal that means they don't get the money. That means they can't have universal mail-in voting," he added. "They just can't have it. So, you know, sort of a crazy thing."
Trump has for weeks made baseless claims that mail-in ballots are subject to fraud and that the widespread use of absentee voting will make this year's election "rigged." Experts have repeatedly said there is scant meaningful fraud tied to mail voting, and Trump's campaign has made robocalls to encourage the use of mail-in ballots.
Democrats passed legislation in May that would allocate $25 billion over three years to the Postal Service as part of broader coronavirus relief, and the party has broadly pushed for wider access to mail ballots, noting that there will be fewer polling places due to the pandemic and arguing that at-risk populations may rely more heavily on voting absentee.