Donald Trump’s suggestion of delaying the upcoming presidential election was given short shrift by the head of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), who said the president has no power to do so.
Ellen Weintraub responded to a tweet from Trump on Thursday in which the president floated a possible delay to the vote due to mail-in voting fraud concerns. “No. You don’t have the power to move the election. Nor should it be moved,” she said.
No, Mr. President. No. You don’t have the power to move the election. Nor should it be moved. States and localities are asking you and Congress for funds so they can properly run the safe and secure elections all Americans want. Why don’t you work on that? https://t.co/mCLeS3yjbw
The FEC chair added that, instead of considering a move he cannot make anyway, Trump should focus his attention on reaching an agreement with Congress to offer more funding to states and localities to hold the November 3 election in a safe and secure way.
Trump earlier suggested that mass mail-in voting would likely produce an embarrassingly fraudulent result in November, and that the country would benefit from postponing the election.
During a US Senate hearing on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was questioned about Trump’s tweet, and responded by saying he just wants the vote to happen “legally.”
“This is not something either you or I were prepared to talk about today,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), said before asking the secretary of state if it’s legal for a president to postpone an election.
“Senator, I’m not going to enter a legal judgement on that on the fly this morning,” Pompeo responded. After being pressed by Kaine for a more direct response, the secretary said that “the Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination.”
“In the end, the Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination” — Mike Pompeo on Trump’s tweet suggesting the presidential election should be delayed pic.twitter.com/lmCoolwAg0
Though Pompeo would not declare whether the election needs to happen on its scheduled November 3 date or not, he said it should be one people can have “confidence” in because it happens “legally.”
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