Fox News political editor: Trump 'either trying to provoke a reaction or trying sow doubt' with election delay idea

Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt said President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE "is either trying to provoke a reaction or trying to sow doubt about the outcome" of the 2020 presidential election by raising the idea of delaying it. 

He added that Trump may have been prompted to do so as a "flagrant expression of his current weakness" against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump campaign emails supporters encouraging mask-wearing: 'We have nothing to lose' Cuba spells trouble for Bass's VP hopes Democrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks MORE.

“On one hand you don’t take it neither seriously nor literally," Stirewalt said during an appearance on "America's Newsroom" of Trump's tweet suggesting the election could be delayed. "It’s just flummery. He’s either trying to provoke a reaction or trying sow doubt about the outcome.”

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"The idea for an incumbent to suggest that we would delay an election now while he is in power is totally out of character with all of his predecessors and it is a sort of fragrant and flagrant expression of his current weakness. A person who is in a strong position would never, never suggest anything like that," Stirewalt said. "So Trump may be making a tactical error here by further telegraphing his weak position in the polls and his weak position for reelection."

Trump tweeted that there was more likely to be fraud in this year's election if there is more mail-in voting. There's no evidence that mail-in voting is any more likely to be fraudulent than in-person voting.

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," Trump tweeted to his more than 85 million followers. "It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"

Several top Republicans dismissed the idea on Thursday, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyDon't let Trump distract us from the real threat of his presidency Overnight Health Care: Five takeaways from Fauci's testimony | CDC: Children might play 'important role' in spreading COVID-19 | GOP leader wants rapid testing at Capitol GOP leader wants to make rapid testing available at Capitol MORE (R-Calif.) and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump putting TikTok ban on hold for 45 days: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Biden VP possible next week; Meadows says relief talks 'miles apart' Pompeo: Trump taking action on Chinese software firms 'in coming days' MORE (R-Fla.).

"Never in the history of federal elections have we ever not held an election, and we should go forward with our election," McCarthy said Thursday.

“We’re going to have an election. It’s going to [be] legitimate, it’s going to be credible,” Rubio argued. “It’s not going to change. We’re going to have an election in November and people should have confidence in it.”

Trump currently trails Biden in the RealClearPolitics index of polls by 8.3 points nationally.