- President Donald Trump has raised some eyebrows after suggesting this morning that the 2020 U.S. election be delayed until Americans can "properly, securely, and safely vote"
- The President said in a tweet that universal mail-in voting will lead to the most "inaccurate and fraudulent" election in U.S. history
- However, Trump campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley said the tweet was simply a way of "raising a question" about the risks of mail-in voting
- The President has previously denied claims that he would try to change the election date
- Either way, a delay in the election would require congressional approval, meaning it is not within President Trump's power
President Donald Trump has raised some eyebrows after suggesting this morning that the 2020 U.S. election be delayed until Americans can "properly, securely, and safely vote."
The President has been loudly against potential mail-in voting in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying in tweets and interviews that the practice could be subject to fraud.
On Thursday morning, President Trump took it one step further by questioning on Twitter whether delaying the election would be a better alternative to mail-in voting.
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
The tweet comes as U.S. citizens started to digest the worst Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reading in the country's history as consumers and businesses alike kept their doors closed to try to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
The country's GDP contracted by a record 32.9 per cent as consumer spending spiralled and unemployment soared.
Up until today, President Trump had vehemently denied the idea of pushing back the election, telling reporters back in April he has never even though of changing the date.
"Why would I do that? November 3. It's a good number," the President said at the time.
In fact, President Trump's reelection campaign slammed Democrat rival Joe Biden for floating the idea that the President would look for a way to push back the election date.
"Those are the incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality," the Trump campaign communications director, Tim Murtaugh, said in April.
Now, National Press Secretary of the Trump campaign Hogan Gidley has defended the President's election delay tweet as a way of questioning the "chaos" of mail-in voting rather than a legitimate suggestion.
"The President is just raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting," Hogan said in a statement following President Trump's tweet.
"They are using coronavirus as their means to try to institute universal mail-in voting, which means sending every registered voter a ballot whether they asked for one or not," he explained.
The President appeared to reaffirm this idea when he followed up his original tweet with another:
Glad I was able to get the very dishonest LameStream Media to finally start talking about the RISKS to our Democracy from dangerous Universal Mail-In-Voting (not Absentee Voting, which I totally support!).— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
President Trump released another tweet minutes later saying Americans need to know the results "on the night of the election, not days, months, or even years later," he said.
Either way, the President does not have the authority to delay the election by himself; even if the idea was genuinely explored, it would need to be approved by Congress before going ahead.