White House spokeswoman Kaylee McEnnani on Friday condemned the decision to delay the Hong Kong legislative elections a day after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign cancels purchase of ads to review communications strategy: reports Nunes refuses to respond if it receives information from Ukrainian lawmaker, meaning harm to Biden Poll: Many Gen Z voters say see more political ads from Trump than Biden MORE asked if the United States should postpone its own elections in November.
“We condemn the decision of the Hong Kong government to postpone its legislative elections for one year and to disqualify opposition candidates,”
The Hong Kong government announced on Friday that it would postpone the September election due to the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reported, citing public health risks and campaign and voter tensions posed by social distancing and travel restrictions.
Pro-democracy groups see the decision as an attempt to thwart opposition candidates challenging those backed by Beijing. Anti-establishment protests have been turning Hong Kong for more than a year and have met with increasingly harsh remarks from the Chinese mainland.
The clear condemnation of the White House decision was startling, given that Trump had earlier raised the idea of delaying the US election in November due to the coronavirus, citing baseless allegations that the ballots would lead to a fraudulent result.
With universal voting by mail (and not for absence, which is good), 2020 will be the most inaccurate and clear election in history. This will be a great confusion for the United States. Delay the elections until people can vote correctly, safely and securely ???
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
Trump does not have the power to move election day, and lawmakers in both parties quickly and forcefully rejected the idea. But the tweet came amid a broader effort by Trump to sow distrust in mail ballots, which are likely to be used in large numbers as an alternative to personal voting amid the pandemic.
“Do I want to see a change of date?” No. But I do not want to see wrong elections. “This election will be the most rigged election in history if it happens,” Trump told reporters on Thursday, citing a broad mail vote.
Experts note that there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in postal voting, which has been widely used for decades.