On Saturday, President Donald Trump defended new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy as a "fantastic man," and supported his recent efforts to slash the functions of the U.S. Postal Service. In a press conference from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump admitted that he couldn't speak for everything DeJoy has done in his new job, but seemed to stand by his actions nonetheless. However, Trump did not acknowledge accusations that cutting Postal Service functions was a form of voter suppression.
Asked if DeJoy has Trump's "backing" for some of his recent actions, Trump said: "yeah, he's a fantastic man. He wants to make the post office great again! You ever hear the expression? The post office is a catastrophe!" Trump was then asked specifically about DeJoy deactiving mail-sorting machines from post offices around the country, which he refused to address. "I don't know what he's doing, I can only tell you he's a very smart man, he'll be a great Postmaster General, and if you're going to do these millions of ballots out of nowhere, he's going to obviously need funding."
Trump says this like it's a mission statement: "You're not gonna know [the election results] for months or for years. Because these [mail] ballots are all gonna lost, they're gonna be gone. pic.twitter.com/lpke3FlaDF— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 15, 2020
"The Democrats aren't willing to provide other things, and therefore they're not going to get the funding for that," the president continued. "You are going to have a catastrophic situation with universal mail-in votes."
Trump has been accused of massive voter suppression through DeJoy by everyone from politicians to journalists to activists. DeJoy was appointed to his job in June, coming from a background as a tech businssman. He was a major donor to past Trump campaigns, which many see as a conflict of interest with the 2020 presidential election looming.
Trump has been outspoken against mail-in voting as many states pivot towards it for safety amid the coronavirus pandemic. Mail-in voting is a longstanding practice in the U.S., despite many experts describing it as "fair, safe and honest." Some analysts have suggested that Trump wants to deter Americans from the process for fear that a higher voter turnout will weaken his chances at winning the election.
In addition to deactivating voting machines, DeJoy's regime as Postmaster General has seen mail collection boxes across the country removed from the streets, post office operating hours slashed and postal workers' capacity trimmed down. Meanwhile, Trump has stated in more and more alarmingly blatant terms that he will strive to stop mail-in ballots from counting in the 2020 election, and will dispute any results that do count them.
"The Democrats know the 2020 Election will be a fraudulent mess," he tweeted on Saturday. "Will maybe never know who won!"