Trump in a tweet on Thursday floated the idea of delaying the vote in November, repeating his unfounded claim about mail-in voter fraud.
Senators, former government officials, cable news hosts and others explained that Trump has no power to delay the election. Many top Republicans quickly rejected his suggestion.
Some commentators also pointed out what Trump was really trying to do with the tweet: divert attention from his administration’s disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting cratering of the U.S. economy, which experienced its worst drop on record in the second quarter of 2020.
At least 150,000 people in the United States have now died from COVID-19.
“Don’t waste time on this Trump ploy to distract from terrible economy+COVID numbers,” warned Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general under former President Barack Obama.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo, meanwhile, urged viewers to “pay no mind to the president’s ‘delay the election’ flash-bangs to disorient you.”
Some senators and House representatives described Trump’s idea as unconstitutional.
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