Donald Trump tweets ‘save the Post Office!’ and complains that Democrats have summoned his controversial postmaster general to testify during Republican Convention
- Donald Trump lamented Democrats are looking to distract by reconvening early and calling his postmaster general to testify during the Republican Convention
- ‘They are always playing games,’ Trump tweeted. ‘GET TOUGH REPUBLICANS!!!’
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing lawmakers back to D.C. a month early from congressional recess to vote on the post office crisis next weekend
- The vote in a USPS bill will not collide with the Republican Convention next week
- Postmaster General Louis DeJoy agreed, however, to testify before Congress next Monday – the first day of the Convention where Trump will be renominated
- President Trump said Monday he wants to ‘make the post office great again’
- He also expressed said ballots dropped off at drop-boxes in November could lead to a ‘rigged election’
- Trump’s attack on drop-off boxes comes as experts recommend voters use them if they’re worried the post office may not return ballot in time
- Pelosi and other Democrats fear Trump is trying to slow down the USPS, claiming that sabotaging the USPS will reduce voter turnout in November
- Mailboxes have been removed across the country, raising fears of a postal delay
Donald Trump said Monday that the post office needs to be saved as he complained Democrats are looking to distract from the Republican National Convention by bringing lawmakers back to Capitol Hill to deal with the crisis.
‘Why is Congress scheduled to meet (on Post Office) next Monday, during the Republican Convention, rather than now, while the Dems are having their Convention,’ the president queried on Twitter Monday afternoon.
‘They are always playing games,’ he continued. ‘GET TOUGH REPUBLICANS!!!’
He added in a second tweet a few minutes later: ‘SAVE THE POST OFFICE!’
The president’s complaints come as Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing lawmakers back to Washington D.C. a month early from their summer recess to deal with the post office crisis.
But she has called the House into session on Saturday – a rare weekend work day in order to avoid the two parties conventions – to consider legislation related to the United States Postal Service. Democrats are expected to propose a bill that would keep the post office from implementing any changes to operations or level of services that critics argue can delay mail deliveries and, therefore, could keep ballots from reaching state officials in time to be counted this November.
The United States Postal Service has come under fire from all political sides as voters are being encouraged to cast their ballots via the mail instead of in person as a way to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Some states have taken the additional step to send a mail-in ballot to every registered voter. The Republican Party has launched lawsuits in several states to counter such moves.
Additionally, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a top Republican donor appointed by Trump, will testify before Congress on Monday, August 24 – the first day of the Republican National Convention.
DeJoy has agreed to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the morning of August 24th with the GOP convention expected to gavel into session that afternoon. Also appearing at the hearing will be Robert Duncan, chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors.
Donald Trump lamented Monday that Democrats are reconvening early and calling his postmaster general to testify during the Republican National Convention, rather than this week during the Democratic Convention
He also tweeted, ‘SAVE THE POST OFFICE’ amid concerns over internal changes that Democrats say could be an attempt to sabotage their push for universal mail-in voting
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing lawmakers back to Washington D.C. a month early from their congressional recess next weekend to deal with the post office crisis
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has agreed to a demand from Pelosi and other top Democrats to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Monday, August 24 – the first day of the Republican Convention
The election was at the forefront of President Trump’s mind on Monday as he kicked off a tour of critical battleground states to counter program the Democratic National Convention, which began Monday.
And, with the election talk, came his complaints about mail-in voting and talk of the post office. The president issued four tweets on the postal system by Monday evening as he traveled to Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Trump argued on Monday that he wants to ‘make the post office great again’ – a play on his 2016 campaign theme of ‘make American great again’ – and expressed concerns that ballots placed in drop-boxes this November could lead to a ‘rigged election.’
He also accused Democratic leaders – Speaker Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer – of playing a ‘con game’ when it came to the post office.
‘It’s a Nancy Pelosi con game with her associate Schumer. This is a con game by Pelosi and Schumer,’ Trump said of the Democrats’ decision to offer legislation on the post office.
‘We’re making it so it is going to be good, and we’re going to take care of our postal workers, above all, we’re not firing people but the way they ran as a for many years as a disaster,’ the prescient continued.
Political pressure on the U.S. Postal Service has compounded in the past few weeks amid concerns that it won’t be able to handle the more than 80 million ballots expected to go through it’s system for the November election.
Both sides are weighing in: President Trump has presented concerns – but no evidence – of fraudulent voting and Democrats worry about voter disenfranchisement if mail-in ballots don’t arrive to state officials in time to be counted.
And Trump’s attack on drop-off boxes came as experts recommend voters concerned their ballot may not make it to state officials in time via the post office use drop boxes instead.
Many cities and states are providing drop-boxes as an alternative for voters instead of mailing in their ballots. Such boxes were used during several primaries as in-person voting was halted due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump expressed Monday concerns that ballots dropped off at drop-boxes this November could lead to a ‘rigged election’ but offered no proof
Trump cast doubt on the system but provided no proof of his allegation it could lead to fraudulent voting.
‘Some states use ‘drop boxes’ for the collection of Universal Mail-In Ballots. So who is going to ‘collect’ the Ballots, and what might be done to them prior to tabulation? A Rigged Election? So bad for our Country. Only Absentee Ballots acceptable!,’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘The U.S. Post Office (System) has been failing for many decades. We simply want to MAKE THE POST OFFICE GREAT AGAIN, while at the same time saving billions of dollars a year for American Taxpayers. Dems don’t have a clue!,’ he added.
Adding to the pressure on the postal system, two House Democrats asked the FBI to open a criminal investigation into the role that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy played in mail delays.
Democratic Representatives Ted Lieu of California and Hakeem Jeffries of New York asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to open the investigation.
‘There is overwhelming evidence that Postmaster General DeJoy and the Board of Governors have hindered the passage of mail,’ they wrote in a letter. ‘At least 19 mail sorting machines, which can process 35,000 pieces of mail per hour, have been dismantled and over 671 are slated for reductions later this year.’
But President Trump defended DeJoy on Monday in a rant that was mingled with attacks on Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Amazon, and its founder Jeff Bezos.
‘I’m just making it good,’ the president said of changes to the post office, which critics charge could to votes not being counted in the November election. ‘We have a very very good business guy running it and I want to make – I jokingly say it – but it’s true: I want to make the post office good again.’
Many states used drop-off ballot boxes in their primaries such as in Florida’s primary, which takes place Tuesday but the state is already accepting ballots
President Trump’s attack on drop-off boxes comes as experts recommend voters use them if they’re worried the post office may not return ballot in time
President Trump defended his controversial postmaster general and said Louis DeJoy is just trying to make the post office ‘good again’
Democratic Representatives Ted Lieu of California (left) and Hakeem Jeffries of New York (right) asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to open an investigation into Louis DeJoy
The Post Office lost $8.8 billion in fiscal year 2019, part of a series of financial losses that came from a combination of fewer people using the mail and its pension plan for its retirees.
Trump has repeatedly railed against those financial losses and argued DeJoy, a successful businessman, has put the policies in place to help its finances.
‘This isn’t a Trump thing,’ the president said. ‘This has been one of the disasters of the world the way it’s been run. It’s been run horribly, and we’re gonna make it good. Now, what am I supposed to do, let it continue to run badly?’
He also complained that some of the post office’s financial troubles are because of online commerce companies like Amazon.com. Trump argues the companies use the postal service to deliver to rural areas other places don’t deliver but don’t pay enough for the service.
‘Maybe the biggest problem with the post office is Amazon. Amazon and other companies like it. They come in. They drop all their mail into a post office, not all of it but a big percentage of it. And they say here you deliver it you stupid people; you deliver it. And it costs us every time they drop a package. It costs us like $3 to deliver the package for that – $3 a package. We’re losing a fortune. I said, you got to raise the rates, you’re gonna have to raise the rates. But Amazon they built a big plant always near a post office, and then they take a lot of this mail into areas where they could never go because the postal system is massive. And they drop packages into the post office by the thousands,’ he told ‘Fox & Friends’ in an extended rant.
President Trump included in his defense of the post office an attack on Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos, seen above testifying via zoom at a July Congressional hearing
He also complained that Bezos, worth $188 billion and the wealthiest American, should pay more.
‘On average we lose massive amounts of money, and I should raise the price. This guy supposed to be so wealthy. So raise the price and let him pay for it. Why is the post office, paying for delivery for Amazon, and – in all fairness – for other services like that?,’ Trump said.
Later, before he departed the White House on a trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin, Trump denied he’s asked his postmaster general to slow down mail deliveries of ballots.
‘No, not at all. I wouldn’t do that. Now I encourage everybody to speed up the mail, not slow down the mail. And I also want to have a post office that runs without losing billions and billions of dollars a year, as it has been doing for 50 years,’ he said.
President Trump has long complained about mail-in voting, falsely claiming it leads to voter fraud. Numerous studies shows it does not.
His defense comes amid a massive uproar against the postal service after it warned all 50 states that ballots may not make it officials in time to be counted in November.
The warning was combined with photos of the post office’s signature blue boxes being removed from street corners, executives being fired by DeJoy and complaints from post office workers that DeJoy’s new policies are causing massive delays in mail delivery.
Mailboxes are stacked in an industrial lot in Hartford, Wisconsin, on Sunday
The U.S. Postal Service announced late Sunday it would stop removing the blue mail boxes until after the election due to the public outrage that sprang up around the removal.
‘Given the recent customer concerns the Postal Service will postpone removing boxes for a period of 90 days while we evaluate our customers concerns,’ USPS spokeswoman Kim Frum said in a statement.
Mailboxes have been removed across the U.S. – from Oregon to New York City, from Ohio to Indianapolis and Montana.
Over the weekend, photographs posted online showed mailboxes being removed in Brighton, Boston.
The pictures caused outrage, but the USPS said they were being taken away because they were covered in graffiti, or otherwise in need of replacement.
And White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that no more mail sorting machines would not be removed until after the election.
CNN reported last week that 671 machines used to organize letters or other pieces of mail are slated for ‘reduction’ in dozens of cities this year.
‘Sorting machines between now and Election Day will not be taken off line,’ Meadows told CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’
He also said President Trump would not interfere in the election.
‘The president of the United States is not going to interfere with anybody casting their vote in a legitimate way, whether it’s the post office or anything else,’ he said.
And The Washington Post reported Sunday that attorneys general from at least six states are discussing potential lawsuits against the administration over cuts to mail service, which have become front page news around the country.
Former President Barack Obama joined the criticism. He said on Friday that Trump was ‘actively kneecaping the Postal Service’ to suppress the vote.
Twitter photos posted August 14 show mailboxes being removed in the Brighton area of Boston
Blue mailboxes were being carted away, in what the USPS said was a replacement operation
Mailboxes in Portland and Eugene have been removed, the USPS confirmed
Mailboxes were also removed this week from Ohio, with a worker spotted on Sunday
DeJoy has become a lightning rod for activist anger over Trump’s claims the election is a ‘scam’
In Indianapolis, mailboxes were removed this week without any explanation given
Mailboxes were spotted being taken away from a site in West Harlem, New York City
In New Jersey, Congresswoman Mickie Sherrill has vowed to investigate the removal
DeJoy has argued the changes he installed are necessary to help the Postal Service become financially stable. The service has struggled economically for years, and its financial problems have been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
DeJoy, 63, is one of just five postmasters general to come to the post from the private sector since 1971, when the Post Office ceased to be a cabinet department and was reorganized as the Postal Service, an independent federal agency.
He has eliminated most overtime for postal workers, imposed restrictions on transportation and reduced of the quantity and use of mail-processing equipment.
On Sunday more than a hundred protesters gathered in Greensboro, North Carolina, outside DeJoy’s home.
The source of DeJoy’s wealth, New Breed Logistics, a national logistics and supply-chain services provider, is based in North Carolina.
He sold the company that year for $615 million to XPO Logistics, The New York Times reported, and founded LDJ Global Strategies, a real estate, investment and consulting company.
DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, have significant investments in companies that do business with or compete with the Postal Service, the paper said.
According to disclosures filed with the Office of Government Ethics, the couple hold between $30.1 million and $75.3 million in such investments, mostly in XPO Logistics, where DeJoy was a director until 2018.
DeJoy’s gated home is next to the Greensboro Country Club golf course. Protesters gathered on the neighborhood streets by his home for about two hours, holding signs, chanting, and listening to speakers.
Trump attended a high-dollar fundraiser in 2017 at the 15,000-square-foot home, known locally as the Castle. The residence features a tower, a gilded staircase, a swimming pool and a pool house.
Since 2016, DeJoy has donated $1.2 million to Trump’s campaign funds and nearly $1.3 million to the Republican Party.
Protesters in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Sunday afternoon outside DeJoy’s house
The activists were demanding an end to the removal of blue mailboxes
On Sunday the USPS bowed to their concerns and promised not to remove any more mailboxes
DeJoy, a wealthy Trump donor, was appointed Postmaster General in May of this year
Protesters were also outside his Washington DC residence.
About 100 people gathered in the wealthy residential neighborhood of Kalorama on Saturday, outside the apartment complex.
Videos on social media showed them banging spoons on pots, blaring horns and chanting ‘resign,’ with many in the group wearing masks and remaining socially distanced.
In letters sent in July to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Thomas J. Marshall, the general counsel for the Postal Service, told most of them that ‘certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service’s delivery standards.’