Trump Defends Postmaster General Amid Scrutiny by Democrats

August 16, 2020 Updated: August 16, 2020

President Donald Trump on Saturday vouched for the postmaster general, who is facing criticism from Democrats over changes he implemented at the United States Postal Service (USPS).

In remarks to reporters on Aug. 15, Trump said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is taking steps to stop the USPS from losing money rather than trying to hobble mail delivery in order to deter mail-in voting.

“The steps that he’s taking are trying to stop the tremendous losses that have taken place for many many years. He’s trying to streamline the post office and make it great again,” Trump said.

Asked if he approved of the removal of mail sorting machines, Trump said: “I don’t know what he’s doing. I can only tell you he’s a very smart man.”

The president said that the Democrats are holding up the funding for USPS by pushing for a pandemic relief package with a massive bailout for states.

“They want a trillion dollars to bail out badly-run Democrat-run states,” Trump said. “They’re not giving the money to the post office. They have to give the money to the post office.”

DeJoy, who took over the reins of the postal service in June, announced earlier this month sweeping changes to the leadership structure of the organization as part of efforts “to operate in a more efficient and effective manner and better serve customers” amid concerns over the financial position of the agency.

“Our financial position is dire, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, a broken business model, and a management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues,” DeJoy told the USPS Board of Governors during an Aug. 7 meeting. “Without dramatic change, there is no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Democrat lawmakers have been pushing for expanded mail-in voting. Trump and Republicans have vehemently opposed the idea, arguing that the USPS in its current state is ripe for voter fraud.

“Now they want to send in millions and million of ballots and you see what’s happening. They’re being lost. They’re being discarded. They’re finding them in piles. It’s going to be a catastrophe,” Trump said on Saturday.

The president had been open about about stalling Democrats’ funding proposals for USPS in the next stimulus package. Democrats have sought to add $3.6 billion for mail-in voting and $25 billion for the USPS in the new COVID-19 relief package.

“Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money,” Trump told Fox News. “That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting—they just can’t have it.”

Trump then indicated on Friday that he would accept a $25 billion deal to fund the USPS if Democratic lawmakers would make concessions.

On Friday, USPS announced that it is seeking to raise prices on a number of its mail services starting about two weeks before the November election in order to address “increased expenses and heightened demand for online shopping package volume due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected holiday ecommerce.”

A USPS representative told The Epoch Times that the changes will not impact election mail and “are completely unrelated to the election.”

A group of protesters on Saturday morning staged a demonstration outside DeJoy’s home.

Janita Khan contributed to this report.

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