“Democrats are also trying to manipulate the election by sending tens of millions of ballots using the China virus as an excuse to allow people not to go to the polls,” Trump said, then added: “This will be, in my opinion, the most corrupt election in the history of our country, and we cannot allow this to happen. ”
Trump said the ballots could be stolen, forged by foreign powers, or excluded from Republican sections in constituencies. He also stated that there is “tremendous evidence of fraud in mail-ballot areas.”
The claim that foreign countries could try to manipulate elections with counterfeit ballots puts him in a twisted position. Trump and key members of his 2016 campaign welcomed Russian interference in that election, according to special counsel Robert Mueller. And since taking office, Trump has not spoken out strongly against foreign meddling, until now.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which plays a leading role in identifying and fighting foreign electoral security threats, declined to address Trump’s unfounded claim earlier this week that foreign governments “will print millions” of mail ballots in the next election.
On Tuesday, the President acknowledged his own prior voting history of voting by mail, and told the group that “absentee ballots are fine,” as long as they go through an identification process.
“Like, I live in the White House, and if I can’t get to Florida … you have to go through a process. Some people just can’t get to a voting table, and they have good reasons, but they have to go through this process. to verify your identity, “Trump said.
During comments to a room full of young people, many of whom were not socially estranged or wearing masks, Trump did not acknowledge possible health risks at polling stations in November.
But he reasoned that if Americans went to the polls during World War I and II, “we can go to the polls and vote during Covid-19.”
CNN’s Marshall Cohen, Holmes Lybrand and Tara Subramaniam contributed to this report.