The media and numerous Democrats have promoted multiple conspiracy theories about the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service in recent days, accusing President Trump of attempting to gain control of the USPS to “steal” the election. Below are 10 important facts about the administration and its relationship with the USPS.
1. Hundreds of Democrats and left-wing celebrities have claimed without evidence that President Donald Trump is trying to “steal” or “cheat” in the upcoming 2020 election by not funding the USPS. Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was one of the main voices promoting unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about what was going on, claiming without evidence that “Republicans are working with Trump to destroy the USPS and sabotage the delivery of ballots.”
2. The notion that Trump is not funding the USPS is not true. The Trump administration agreed on July 29 to loan the USPS “$10 billion in emergency coronavirus relief funding,” The Washington Post reported, adding that the money is “a crucial injection of cash that postal officials say will keep the debt-laden agency solvent for at least another year.” In exchange for the money, USPS will provide the Treasury Department “copies of its 10 largest ‘negotiated service agreements,’ or contracts with high-volume third-party shippers such as Amazon, FedEx and UPS.” The goal, Treasury Department Sec. Steve Mnuchin explained, is “to fulfill the President’s goal of establishing a sustainable business model under which USPS can continue to provide necessary mail service for all Americans, without shifting costs to taxpayers.”
3. The USPS admitted in a recent press release that it has a “broken business model” and Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy said that “the Postal Service is in a financially unsustainable position absent significant fundamental change.” DeJoy told the postal Board of Governors that USPS’s “financial position is dire,” which stems from “substantial declines in mail volume, a broken business model and a management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues.”
4. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in May that “while USPS is to be self-sustaining, it lost about $78 billion from fiscal years 2007 through 2019 due primarily to declining mail volumes and increased costs.” The GAO added that “given USPS’s poor financial condition, in 2009 GAO identified USPS’s financial viability as a high-risk area, a designation it retains today.”
5. Numerous Democrats and media figures have claimed without evidence that Trump and DeJoy are engaged in some sort of criminal conspiracy to subvert election laws in an attempt to get Trump re-elected. Examples of those promoting unsubstantiated claims include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), frequent CNN guest Laurence Tribe, MSNBC host Joy Reid, and leftist Preet Bharara.
6. Others, like Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) have claimed that DeJoy’s “main qualification for this job is that he is a large political donor for President Trump.” While he has donated to Republicans, the assertion that his donations are his “main qualification” is clearly false. The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board noted that “DeJoy built a trucking company from 10 employees in 1983 to almost 7,000 in 2014” and that after he sold the company to XPO Logistics he stayed on “as CEO of that company’s North America supply-chain business.” The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board noted that DeJoy has sought to get the USPS’s financial matters in order by emphasizing “the need to stick to schedules and cut overtime cost.”
7. The New York Times reported that “experts agree that the Postal Service has the raw capacity to absorb additional ballots, even if 150 million people decided to vote by mail.” Arthur Sackler, who runs the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, said, “When you think about it from the standpoint of how much mail they handle, even in their currently diminished state, if every registered voter in the entire country voted by mail, that would be something they could still easily handle. The question is whether these operational changes will have any impact on their ability to do so.”
8. The USPS recently warned 46 states and D.C. that “it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted,” The Washington Post reported. However, journalist Jeryl Bier did some digging and found what he believes is the actual problem: the voting laws in each state.
“Some of these USPS letters ‘warning’ states that mail-in ballots might not be counted are because some states’ laws permit ‘voters to request a ballot as late as 4 days before the election’,” Bier wrote. “FOUR DAYS. It’s no wonder they are warning them. This is not new.” In another tweet, Bier wrote: “In Ohio, a voter may request by mail a mail-in ballot all the way up until THREE DAYS before the election. Then officials have to mail that ballot to the voter, then the voter must get it postmarked by election day! No wonder the USPS is ‘warning’ states!”
Bier added: “The stories I have seen on this give the impression the problem is a service issue with USPS delays. But the USPS evaluated all states’ mail-in voting laws and then sent letters cautioning them that conflicts may disenfranchise voters. But it’s the voting laws that are the issue.” In response to the 46 states to which the USPS sent letters, Bier wrote: “These stories (see below) refer to ‘delayed ballots’ as if the USPS is sitting on them. But the USPS letters to the states are warning about their laws being too loose to work well with long-standing USPS delivery times and ballot-mailing recommendations.”
9. Numerous Democrats and media organizations have claimed that Trump “falsely claims” or “claims without evidence” that universal mail-in voting could undermine the integrity of the election by opening the door to voter fraud. However, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, America’s chief law enforcement officer, has stated that universal mail-in voting “absolutely opens the floodgates to fraud” and presents other legal issues. Barr — who was previously praised by Democrat Joe Biden as being “one of the best I have ever worked with” — slammed Democrats for their push to change the way that America votes.
“I think it is grossly irresponsible to be doing what the Democratic Party is doing now,” Barr said in a recent interview. “We’ve had very close races in recent history. The country is divided. If anything, we should be assuring the integrity of our elections so that government going forward will be legitimate and will be accepted as legitimate. The idea of conducting elections by wholesale mail-in ballots is reckless and wrong. Everyone knows what has happened in these cases. We’re not talking about voters going, requesting a ballot specifically, saying who they are, proving who they are, and then submitting a ballot by mail.”
“We’re talking about mail-outs to everyone on the voting list. And every experience with that has had thousands and thousands of ballots floating around, not just the state, but the country. I have friends who haven’t lived in California in 21 years who received ballots,” Barr continued. “There are ballots left in boxes in apartment buildings – ballots … for people who used to live at addresses are delivered to those addresses. They can be filled out by anybody.”
“This is reckless,” Barr concluded. “And it could create serious questions about the integrity of the election. And to do this, when there [is] a closely divided country, as we are, is playing with fire, in my view.”
Barr also said in a separate interview that “we,” an apparent reference to the Department of Justice, “went and looked back at press coverage of this issue” of mail-in voting and found that “it wasn’t until Trump was elected that the media changed its tune.”
“Before that, the media used to refer to mail-in ballots as, you know, fraught with fraud or raising questions of fraud or integrity of the vote,” Barr said. “It’s only [after] – it’s only recently that they’ve now made it, you know, doctrinal that, oh, there’s no – there’s no issue with mail-in voting.”
10. Numerous posts on social media showed mailboxes being removed, which left-wing activists then used to suggest that it was an attempt by the Trump administration to make it harder for people to vote.
CNN contributor Ana Navarro wrote: “I’ve seen 2 posts today supposedly of @USPS mailboxes being removed. One in Manhattan, one in Portland. Given rhetoric coming out of WH, and Trump lackey Postmaster General who just decommissioned 671 mail-sorting machines, this is alarming. What in the hell is going on?”
I’ve seen 2 posts today supposedly of @USPS mailboxes being removed. One in Manhattan, one in Portland. Given rhetoric coming out of WH, and Trump lackey Postmaster General who just decommissioned 671 mail-sorting machines, this is alarming. What in the hell is going on? pic.twitter.com/y7t76XuLKE
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) August 14, 2020
Bryan Behar wrote: “This isn’t the Hunger Games. This is America. Trump is removing mailboxes so not everyone can vote.”
This isn’t the Hunger Games. This is America. Trump is removing mailboxes so not everyone can vote. pic.twitter.com/FQpoPNxUBE
— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) August 14, 2020
Isaac Hayes tweeted: “They’re legit taking the mailboxes off the street. Cheating 101.”
They’re legit taking the mailboxes off the street. Cheating 101. pic.twitter.com/hkXcV5vtBH
— Isaac Hayes III (@IsaacHayes3) August 14, 2020
KATU News dig some digging into the photos that were featured in the tweets above and “found out the post office is the one removing the boxes to replace them because they’re old.”
Jamie Lee Curtis also tweeted out a baseless conspiracy theory, writing: “I swear, in broad daylight, the driver of the red truck had a red cap on with white letters. Conspiracy? Outright attempt at stealing the election by denying the access of the @USPS ? Let’s not let it happen! @JoeBiden”
I swear, in broad daylight, the driver of the red truck had a red cap on with white letters. Conspiracy? Outright attempt at stealing the election by denying the access of the @USPS ? Let’s not let it happen! @JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/gG765Caldm
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) August 11, 2020
Others, like singer Taylor Swift, who has increasingly embraced left-wing activism, claimed without evidence that Trump was trying to “cheat” in the election.
“Trump’s calculated dismantling of USPS proves one thing clearly: He is WELL AWARE that we do not want him as our president. He’s chosen to blatantly cheat and put millions of Americans’ lives at risk in an effort to hold on to power,” Swift claimed. “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.”
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.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) August 15, 2020