Trump's press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refuses twice to say whether he'll accept the election result if he loses

Joanna Taylor
Thursday 20 August 2020 11:30
news

Trump's repeated claim that the outcome of the presidential election will be "inaccurate" because of "fraudulent" mail-in voting means that some people are concerned he won't accept its outcome if he loses.

Since suggesting that the election should be delayed until everyone can vote "securely and safely" last month, Trump has waged a bizarre war on the United States Postal Service, in part because he claims they enable voter fraud.

Trump has been unable to provide evidence for his claim that mail-in voting risks "thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody's living room, signing ballots all of the place", but he has continued to push this line in press conferences and at rallies regardless.

On Monday, he claimed during a speech in Oshkosh, Wisconsin that "the only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged".

NBC reporter Geoff Bennett put this remark to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, asking her if the president believes there's "any circumstance" in which he could lose the election fairly.

McEnany replied:

The president believes he’s done a great job for the American people and he believes that will show in November.

He believes voter fraud is real, in line with what we see all across the country, particularly with mail-in ballots which are prone to fraud. 

ABC reporter Kyra Phillips then asked McEnany point-blank if the president "will not accept the results" of the election "unless he wins"?

McEnany said:

The president has always said he will see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath. It’s the same thing he said last November. He wants a free election, a fair election, and he wants confidence in the results of the election, particularly when you have states like Nevada doing mass mail-out voting to their voting rolls, and when they tried this in the primary it was a massive failure.

Ballots were piled up in trash cans, ballots were pinned to apartment dartboards, and with that being the system, the president wants to take a hard look at this and make sure that these are fair election results and not subject to fraud. 

If we're reading this correctly, McEnany essentially just said that Trump will only decide whether or not he accepts the election results when he knows who's won. Which is worrying to say the least...

It is true that Nevada plans to mail ballots to all active voters, while Colorado, Hawaii, Oregan, Washington and Utah plan to hold all-mail voting. But this is because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, not a conspiracy to flood ballot boxes with Democrat votes.

McEnany's claim that mail-in voting was a "massive failure" during the Nevada primaries could be a reference to a report from the right-leaning Public Interest Legal Foundation that as many as 1 in 5 ballots were not delivered to the correct address.

Trump is furious that Nevada plan to mail out ballots to voters, and has threatened them with a legal challenge. He also described the move as an "illegal late-night coup".

As Trump struggles to keep up with Biden in the polls, it is clear his administration is getting nervous and seeking to redirect the blame for any potential failure.

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