Pelosi: Trump trying 'to suppress the vote' with attacks on mail-in ballots

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats reject short-term deal ahead of unemployment deadline GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi’s mask mandate for House floor Trump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy MORE (D-Calif.) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign cancels ad buys to review messaging strategy: report Nunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Poll: Plurality of ‘Gen Z’ voters say they see more political ads from Trump than Biden MORE‘s attacks on voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic and his suggestion to postpone the November election are part of an effort to sow confusion and suppress voter turnout.

“The reason he does it is because the more people hear something like that, the more they’re discouraged to vote,” Pelosi said during an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “It’s a way to suppress the vote.”

Pelosi noted that Trump’s tweet on Thursday floating the idea of delaying the election came on the same day as the funeral for the civil rights legend Rep. John LewisJohn LewisHouse approves amendments to rein in federal forces in cities Sanders calls for the end of the filibuster following Obama’s remarks The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump faces pushback after suggesting election could be delayed MORE (D-Ga.).

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“At the same time as we are burying a hero of voting rights, our democracy, he goes out and says something beneath the dignity of the White House. But he does that almost every day, beneath the dignity of the presidency,” Pelosi added.

There is no evidence that either absentee or mail-in ballots increase voter fraud. It’s also highly unlikely that all voters will choose to cast their ballots by mail in November.

Trump himself has voted absentee, including for the GOP presidential primary earlier this year.

Furthermore, Trump does not have the authority to change the election date. Election Day is always the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as established by federal law. Only Congress would have the power to change the election date, and it’s highly unlikely that the Democratic-controlled House would do so at Trump’s behest.

Top Republicans in Congress also pushed back on Trump’s trial balloon on Thursday, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi’s mask mandate for House floor Hillicon Valley: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces swift bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports | Senators ask Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom Trump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy MORE (R-Ky.).

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Trump also swiped at former President Obama, who delivered a eulogy at Lewis’s funeral in which he said that “there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting,” including by targeting minorities with restrictive voter ID laws and closing certain polling locations.

Former Presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonEx-presidents honor Lewis’s contributions to nation at funeral Jimmy Carter honors John Lewis: His contributions ‘will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come’ Clinton pays respects at John Lewis’s funeral: ‘He got into a lot of good trouble’ MORE and George W. Bush also spoke at Lewis’s funeral on Thursday.

Trump, who clashed with Lewis in 2017, notably did not attend the funeral or pay his respects while the late congressman laid in state in the Capitol earlier this week.

“I did much more for minorities than he did and if you look at our numbers prior to the play coming in and those numbers will soon be back, you will see I did a much better job than Obama did, by far, for African Americans, for Asian Americans, for women, for any group you look at, far better than Obama did,” Trump said to reporters at the White House on Friday.

Pelosi later appeared to take a dig at Trump’s weight, questioning whether there was “an ounce” of decency “in that big frame.”

“Three presidents praised John Lewis,” Pelosi said. “You would think that there would be an ounce, in that big frame, of decency to say something about the importance of voting in our democracy, instead of criticizing somebody else’s eulogy.”

Back in May, Pelosi drew pushback when she described Trump as “morbidly obese” while criticizing his decision to take a drug that has not been proven to prevent or cure COVID-19.

“I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group, morbidly obese, they say,” Pelosi said on CNN at the time.

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