Election 2020: Trump sows doubt about election legitimacy, Biden goes after his business creds

August 15, 2020 at 7:02 PM EDT

Trump says he has confidence in DeJoy, but says, ‘I don’t know what he is doing’

Trump defended Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s changes to the U.S. Postal Service, which are resulting in mail delays, but said he couldn’t speak to the specifics of what DeJoy has done since taking office in June.

He’s a fantastic man. He wants to make the post office great again,” Trump said during a news briefing at his private golf resort in Bedminster, N.J.

Asked whether he agreed with DeJoy’s decision to remove 671 high-speed mail-sorting machines, roughly 10 percent of the agency’s capacity, Trump said: I don’t know. I don’t know what he’s doing. I can only tell you he’s a very smart man.”

Pressed on it again later, Trump said, “You’ll have to ask him.” DeJoy has not sat for an interview or held a news conference since taking office.

But in that time, the former logistics executive and major Republican campaign donor banned postal workers from making extra trips to ensure on-time mail delivery and cracked down on overtime hours. Localities across the country have struggled with USPS backlogs of up to a week. He also realigned the 630,000-worker agency, reassigning or removing 33 executives, including two responsible for delivery and retail operations.

Trump railed as he has for months against mail-in voting, claiming without evidence that it will lead to widespread fraud and that the results of the November election may not be known for “months or for years, because these ballots are all going to be lost. They’re going to be gone.”

He also claimed that he and DeJoy want more funding for the Postal Service to deal with the large quantities of ballots it will have to handle over the next two months, but he stated falsely that Democrats were holding it up that funding. He and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin blocked emergency aid for the Postal Service.

Trump has repeatedly spoken out against additional funding for post offices to help them with mail-in ballots as Democrats have argued for it. His administration blocked $13 billion of emergency aid to the Postal Service in March.

The money is included in a larger coronavirus relief bill that is stalled in Congress over other spending disagreements. Trump has said he would not veto a stimulus package that contained money for the Postal Service.

By Colby Itkowitz and Jacob Bogage