President Trump claimed at a Saturday campaign rally that Democrats are “trying to rig” the upcoming presidential election, warning supporters that 80 million “unsolicited” ballots would be sent to voters across the country. Mr. Trump did not provide any evidence to support that claim.
“They’ll send 80 million ballots to people — they have no idea where they’re going,” Mr. Trump said during his 94-minute speech. “Actually, they probably do have a pretty good idea where they’re going, and that’s our problem. They send 80 million ballots out, where are they going? Who do they send them to? Are they sending them to certain areas, and not other areas? Are they sending them to Democrat areas?”
The rally was initially scheduled to be held in Reno, but the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority rejected it because the 5,000-plus expected visitors would violate the state’s and local county’s directives on public gatherings.
Mr. Trump lashed out at the state’s governor over the decision, alleging the rejection happened because he’s a Republican. “We call this a protest, because if you call it a protest you’re allowed to have one,” Mr. Trump claimed.
“The governor tried to stop us, and he couldn’t, but think of this — he’s in control of millions of votes,” Mr. Trump said. He added “so if I’m up millions of votes, he can rig the election.”
Governor Steve Sisolak said Thursday that he had nothing to do with canceling the event, adding that the state’s ban on gatherings of more than 50 people had in place for months, according to CBS affiliate KTVN.
Mr. Trump also briefly mentioned the, telling the audience that the key to fighting fires is “forest management.”
“It is about forest management. Please remember the words, very simple — forest management,” he said.
There have not been any social distancing or mask requirements at Mr. Trump’s recent campaign rallies, despite the dangers presented by the pandemic. According to revelations from journalists Bob Woodward’s new book that were released early, Mr. Trump admitted the severity of the coronavirus to Woodward in February even as he held indoor campaign rallies and repeatedly compared the virus to the flu.
Mr. Trump said Saturday the U.S. is “developing a vaccine in record time” for the virus, and falsely claimed the U.S. has seen “by far the fastest recovery of any western nation.”
“We’re rounding the turn, and it’s happening,” he said. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top government infectious doctor, disagreed with that statement on Friday. “Instead of rounding the corner, the U.S. may be facing new perils,” Fauci told MSNBC.
Mr. Trump on Saturday also frequently attacked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, calling him a “pathetic human being” and accusing him of being controlled by the “radical” wing of the Democratic party.
A new poll by The New York Times/Siena College found that likely voters in Nevada support Biden over Mr. Trump by 46% to 42%. A poll by the University of Nevada Las Vegas Lee Business School released earlier this month found that 44% of likely voters support Biden, compared to 39% for Mr. Trump.
Grace Segers and Fin Gomez contributed to this report.