Taylor Swift launches excoriating attack on Trump over USPS funding
Taylor Swift launches excoriating attack on Trump and calls him ‘a blatant cheat’ who is ‘dismantling’ the USPS to ‘hold onto power’ – as the star continues her
- Taylor Swift on Saturday tweeted blistering critique of Trump’s stance
- Accused him of trying to ‘blatantly cheat’ election by kneecapping USPS
- USPS is starving for funds and has had to implement measures slowing delivery
- Agency warned 46 states it might not be able to deliver mail-in ballots on time
- November election is set to see unprecedented voting by mail due to pandemic
Singer Taylor Swift has launched a blistering attack on President Donald Trump, accusing him of ‘dismantling’ the US Postal Service in an attempt to rig the November presidential election.
‘Trump’s calculated dismantling of USPS proves one thing clearly: He is WELL AWARE that we do not want him as our president,’ Swift wrote in a tweet on Saturday.
‘He’s chosen to blatantly cheat and put millions of Americans’ lives at risk in an effort to hold on to power,’ she continued.
Swift, 30, had for much of her career avoided speaking about politics, but in recent years has been more vocal in her support for Democratic candidates and causes. Her latest statements appear to be her most overt political statement ever.
Singer Taylor Swift has launched a blistering attack on President Donald Trump, accusing him of ‘dismantling’ the US Postal Service in an attempt to rig the November presidential election
Swift continued in a second tweet: ‘Donald Trump’s ineffective leadership gravely worsened the crisis that we are in and he is now taking advantage of it to subvert and destroy our right to vote and vote safely. Request a ballot early. Vote early.’
It comes as the USPS is warning states it cannot guarantee that all ballots cast by mail for the November 3 election will arrive in time to be counted, even if ballots are mailed by state deadlines – raising the possibility that millions of votes could go uncounted.
Trump’s critics say he is denying desperately needed funding to the USPS, which faces historic revenue shortfalls amid the pandemic, that would ensure an orderly election as millions vote by mail for the first time.
Trump himself claims that a massive shift to voting by mail is itself an attempt to affect the election, alleging that mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud.
In June, Louis DeJoy, a Republican donor and logistics company executive, took over as the new postmaster general and Trump tasked him with trying to make the Postal Service more profitable.
DeJoy cut overtime, late delivery trips and other expenses that ensure mail arrives at its destination on time. The result has been a national slowdown of mail.
The Postal Service is hoping for a $10 billion infusion from Congress to continue operating, but talks between Democrats and Republicans over a broad pandemic relief package that could have included that money have broken down.
Swift, 30, had for much of her career avoided speaking about politics, and her tweet on Saturday appears to be her most overt political statement ever
Trump has frankly acknowledged that he’s starving the Postal Service of money to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots and force Democrats to bargain
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (center) is at the center of controversy, after he implemented cost-cutting measures that have slowed the ability to deliver mail on schedule
On Thursday, Trump frankly acknowledged that he’s starving the Postal Service of that money to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots.
‘Now, they need that money in order to make the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,’ Trump said in an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. ‘That’s election money basically.’
‘If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting,’ he explained of both the USPS funding and the overall Democratic top line number of $3 trillion.
Democrats have put $25 billion for emergency funding for the Postal Service in their $3 trillion version of the coronavirus relief legislation – a package that Trump opposes.
‘Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it,’ he said.
On Saturday morning, hundreds of noisy protesters descended on the Washington D.C. home of Postmaster General DeJoy and accused him of engaging in voter suppression.
Hundreds gathered outside the home of USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in D.C. Saturday morning to demand he resign
Protesters brought along saucepans for the ‘noise protest’ which took place before 9am on Saturday morning
The ‘noise demonstration’, led by Shutdown D.C., marched to DeJoy’s Kalorama condo where they blew horns and beat on saucepans to issue an early morning ‘wake up call’ to the Trump donor.
The protesters called for DeJoy to be fired as they claimed he has been aiding Trump in meddling with the election.
It comes after former President Barack Obama accused Trump of ‘kneecapping USPS’ to suppress voters by withholding the vital funding needed to ensure that mail-in ballots can be adequately processed and delivered in November.
On Friday, the Postal Service’s inspector general announced it is examining possible conflicts of interest involving DeJoy, who has donated $2.7 million to Trump and his fellow Republicans, and his recent changes to the Postal Service.
DeJoy owns millions of dollars in stock in Postal Service rivals and customers, according to a financial disclosure form filed by his wife.
Since his appointment, which was made despite him having no background in the postal service, DeJoy has been highly criticized for the ‘cost-cutting’ changes he has made, including eliminating overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal employees and mandating that mail be held if distribution centers are understaffed or running behind.
All the measures are said to have caused widespread delays in the postal service.
The Inspector General’s Office is ‘conducting a body of work to address concerns raised,’ spokeswoman Agapi Doulaveris said.
Democratic congressional leaders and committee leaders also sent a letter to DeJoy on Friday demanding an explanation for changes he is making at postal facilities.
‘Postmaster General DeJoy’s brief term has already become one of the darkest in USPS history,’ Democratic Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly said in a statement.
‘On the eve of a presidential election, in the midst of the worst public health pandemic in 100 years, Mr. DeJoy has pledged his allegiance to the political expedience of President Trump at the expense of protecting our democracy and access to the ballot.
‘He has deliberately enacted policies to sabotage the Postal Service to serve only one person, President Trump. He has failed the American people. Mr. DeJoy must resign.’
The protesters gathered outside DeJoy’s home after marching from a nearby park
DeJoy has denied claims from protesters he is engaging in voter suppression
The protesters placed fake ballots in his door as part of the demonstration
With 80 days left until the election, questions about the Postal Service’s ability to deliver ballots on time have assumed crucial importance.
Mail-in ballots have exploded in popularity since the pandemic spread in mid-March, at the peak of primary season.
Some states have seen the demand for mail voting increase fivefold or more during the primaries. Election officials are bracing for the possibility that half of all voters – or even more – will cast ballots by mail in November.
Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington state have universal mail voting, and California, Nevada and Vermont are starting universal mail voting in November. But the rest have little experience with such a volume of ballots cast through the mail.
Timely mail is key to voting by mail. In states without universal mail-in voting, applications for mail ballots are generally sent out to voters by mail.
They’re returned, again, by mail. Then the actual ballots are sent to voters by mail, and returned, again, by mail, usually by Election Day.
A Postal Service worker walks with his cart in Manhattan last month. With 80 days left until the election, the ability of USPS to deliver ballots on time has assumed crucial importance
Late last month, Thomas J. Marshall, the post office’s general counsel and executive vice president, sent states a letter warning that many of them have deadlines too tight to meet in this new world of slower mail.
Pennsylvania, for example, allows voters to request a mail ballot by Oct. 27. Marshall warned that voters there should put already completed ballots in the mail by that date to ensure they arrive by Nov. 3.
This has been a potential problem since the Obama administration, when the post office relaxed standards for when mail had to arrive.
But it’s particularly acute when the volume of mail ballots is expected to explode in states such as Pennsylvania, which only approved an expansion of mail voting late last year.
If there’s no resolution of postal funding in the coronavirus aid negotiations, the matter is sure to come up during negotiations in September to continue to fund the federal government.
The government will shut down if Trump doesn’t sign a funding bill by September 30.
States can also act to change their mail balloting deadlines. Last week, Pennsylvania made such a move, asking a court to move the deadline for receiving mail ballots back to three days after the November 3 vote, provided the ballots were placed in the mail before polls close on Election Day.
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