TAMPA, Fla.(WFLA)—In an interview with 8 On Your Side, Donald Trump, Jr. said the vote-by-mail system in Florida is “not rife with fraud,” refuting a common talking point from President Trump earlier this year that he has since retracted.
“Something that’s coming to a specific voter at a specific address, that is not rife with fraud,” Trump Jr. said about requesting ballots by mail.
Trump Jr. did seem to misunderstand how ballots are sent to voters.
“Everyone likes to conflate and gaslight the difference between voting by mail and absentee balloting,” Trump Jr. said. “What we are against is the mass blanket approach where D.C. sends out 360 million ballots to people that they don’t even know may still live at those addresses.”
“They’re sitting there in a box,” said Trump Jr. “Anyone can pick them up. Anyone can return them.”
Elections are run by each state in the U.S., so it’s unclear what Trump Jr. means about D.C. sending out ballots.
Additionally, there is no difference between absentee balloting and voting by mail for domestic voters in the state of Florida. Elections supervisors say there are safeguards to protect against someone trying to pick up a random mail ballot and attempt to vote, most notably that the voter’s signature on the mail ballot must match a previously-provided signature.
Trump Jr. also said he does not support diverting funds from police departments to other social agencies to help lighten the load on law enforcement, a problem several Tampa Bay sheriffs have discussed in recent months.
“I would rather give them [law enforcement] more money to be able to fund, to be able to staff up, to be able to do more training, so that you don’t have unfortunate incidents like what happened to George Floyd.”
Trump Jr. also refused to say whether he would accept help from a foreign government in this campaign in the same way he did from Russia in 2016.
“Would the DNC still be funding it as they did with that? It’s been a talking point for 3 years, it’s been disproven over and over again. It’s a bit of a nonsense question.”
But the question refers to emails that Trump Jr. himself released. They were from a publicist, Rob Goldstone, identifying a “prosecutor” of the Russian government who sought to deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign as part of Russia’s support of then-candidate Donald Trump.
“I’ve done 30 hours of testimony,” Trump Jr. said. “They don’t talk about the fact that that was literally funded by the DNC. So the people who were actually doing the things they accuse me of, they get a total pass.
Pressed further, Trump Jr. said “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Both the Senate Intelligence Committee report released this week and the Mueller Report found that Russians and their government were actively helping to elect Donald Trump, and that the campaign welcomed that help.
However, Donald Trump, Jr. was not charged with a crime for agreeing to meet with those Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. He later testified that the meeting was about Russian adoptions.
It is illegal for campaigns to accept help from a foreign government or foreign nationals, but the Mueller Report said “the government would unlikely be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort knew “that their conduct was unlawful.”
An investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz into the FBI’s Russia investigation, nicknamed “Crossfire Hurricane,” found several failures in the “chain of command,” including false information on at least one FISA application for electronic surveillance of Carter Page. Page was a member of the Trump campaign team who was at times a source for the CIA, information that was not disclosed to the FISA court by the FBI.
Battleground Florida – Sunday, August 30, 2020
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