US

Obama accuses Trump of trying to ‘kneecap’ Postal Service


Barack Obama issued a rare public rebuke of President Trump on Friday, accusing him of trying to “kneecap” the US Postal Service to suppress votes at the November election.

The criticism was lobbed during a podcast interview with the former president just days after Trump said he was opposed to increasing funding for the Postal Service and mail-in voting, which he believes enables voter fraud.

“What we’ve seen in a way that is unique to modern political history is a president who is explicitly trying to discourage people from voting, right?” Obama told his former campaign manager David Plouffe on his podcast “Campaign HQ.”

“What we’ve never seen before is a president say, ‘I’m going to try to actively kneecap the Postal Service to discourage voting, and I will be explicit about the reason I’m doing it.’ That’s sort of unheard of,” Obama continued.

The former president said he was “worried” about protecting the integrity of the election process amid a pandemic, including protecting the health of polling workers and making sure votes are counted.

Obama called on younger people to volunteer as poll workers, calling it “hugely important.”

In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network on Thursday, Trump accused Democrats of holding up crucial coronavirus funding over demands the Postal Service be given additional funding.

The president has repeatedly claimed mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud and pointed to the weeks-long results delay in Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s congressional race in New York’s 12th district caused by postal ballots.

“They want $3.5 billion for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent — that’s election money. Basically, they want $3.5 billion for the mail-in votes, OK,” Trump told Bartiromo.

“They want $25 billion, billion, for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he continued.

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