Former President Barack Obama slammed President Donald Trump on Friday, accusing his administration of undermining the U.S. Postal Service and attempting to suppress votes during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everyone depends on the USPS. Seniors for their Social Security, veterans for their prescriptions, small businesses trying to keep their doors open,” Obama said on Twitter in a series of posts.
“They can’t be collateral damage for an administration more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus.”
Trump’s Democratic predecessor urged eligible voters in states with early-voting options to “do that now.”
“The more votes in early, the less likely you’re going to see a last minute crunch, both at polling places and in states where mail-in ballots are permitted. Then tell everyone you know,” Obama said.
The tweets marked the latest broadside against the Trump administration from Obama, who in the run-up to the 2020 election has grown more open in his criticism of the White House.
During his eulogy late last month at the funeral of former Rep. John Lewis, Obama had called out the efforts by “those in power” who are “doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting — by closing polling locations, and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws, and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that is going to be dependent on mailed-in ballots so people don’t get sick.”
The USPS has come under intense scrutiny in recent months. Lawmakers of both parties have voiced concerns about drastic operational changes made by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major donor to Republicans and Trump-supporting committees, which have led to reports of widespread mail delays.
Democrats in particular fear that the changes could impact the 2020 presidential election between Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, where more voters than ever before are expected to cast their ballots by mail.