President Trump on Saturday doubled down in support of US Postal Service honcho Louis DeJoy, calling him a “fantastic man” amid protests outside of the official’s home over mail-in-ballot concerns and service cuts.
“He’s a fantastic man; he wants to make the Post Office great again,” Trump said during an evening news conference at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.
The president spoke as protesters rallied outside the postmaster general’s home in Washington, D.C., to demand DeJoy’s resignation over his handling over the postal service ahead of the November election.
Organizers from Shut Down D.C. accuse DeJoy of trying to undermine the agency by cleaning house of top USPS leadership; removing mail boxes and sorting machines and cutting overtime.
Meanwhile, Trump has resisted funding the cash-strapped USPS in an admitted attempt to make mail-in voting.
Trump said Saturday that DeJoy was trying his best to save money at the beleaguered agency.
“The steps he’s taking are trying to stop the tremendous losses that have taken place for many many years,” he said.
When asked about decommissioned sorting machines, Trump said he wasn’t aware of internal policies.
“I don’t know what he’s doing, I can only tell you he is a very smart man,” Trump said.
The president continued his denunciations of universal mail-in voting, complaining, “The problem is, you never know when it’s [the election] is over . . . ballots are lost, ballots are defrauded and it’s a total mess.”
The president also continued to float the erroneous conspiracy theory regarding the eligibility of Joe Biden running mate Sen. Kamala Harris.
Inaccurate speculation has centered on whether Harris (D-Calif.) could ever succeed Biden as president due to her India-born mother and her Jamaica-born father not having been citizens when she was born.
“It’s not something that bothers me,” Trump said when asked about Harris, who has been a US citizen since birth.
“It’s not something that we will be pursuing, but you would have thought she would have been vetted by Sleepy Joe,” Trump said.
Trump was also asked about his tense relationship with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, whom he has reportedly mulled firing due to disagreements over the handling of national police brutality protests.
The president continued to let Esper figuratively twist in the wind on Saturday.
“I consider firing everybody. At some point, that’s what happens,” Trump quipped.
“As I understand, if we win, a president will ask for the resignation of everybody and then bring back the people he wants — that’s happened before,” Trump said.
“And I could see something like that happening. I think that makes sense. I have a very good Cabinet with few exceptions,” he added.
“I wouldn’t say I’m thrilled with everybody, frankly,” he joked to laughter from a clutch of golf-club members.
Trump took one last parting shot at Harris and Biden before ending the press conference.
“Take a look at Kamala,” he urged.
“They want to destroy the Second Amendment,” he claimed.
“And as you know, Joe has no control over anybody. He has no control over himself,” the president charged.
Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former president Barack Obama have raised alarms over the White House’s handling of the USPS.
“What we’ve seen in a way that is unique to modern political history is a president who is explicitly trying to discourage people from voting, right?” Obama said in a new podcast interview.
Proponents of the USPS argue that public agencies should be focused on providing services to Americans, not on profit.
“We’re in the middle of a historic pandemic and as many as 40 percent of Americans plan on casting their ballot by mail,” Patrick Young, of Shut Down D.C. told WUSA9 News. “If we can’t rely on those ballots getting to where they need to go, we’ve got a serious problem with democracy.”
Trump on Friday said he would be willing to add the billions Democrats demand for the USPS if they are willing to make concessions.
“Sure, if they gave us what we want. And it’s not what I want, it’s what the American people want,” Trump said.