Oh, by the way, on the subject of open corruption and abuse of power, did we do this yet?
Trump is threatening to block federal funding to Michigan if election officials there do not retreat from measures meant to facilitate mail-in voting. Basically a quid-pro-quo like Ukraine - withholding funds in order to secure a personal benefit. He's clearly learned his lesson.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/2 ... ing-270609
President Donald Trump mischaracterized Michigan’s absentee ballot policies on Wednesday while threatening federal funding to the state if election officials there do not retreat from measures meant to facilitate mail-in voting.
The ultimatum from the White House, which Trump tried to downplay later in the day, comes as Michigan, a state crucial to Trump’s reelection chances, combats the fallout from a particularly severe coronavirus outbreak.
“Breaking: Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election,” Trump tweeted. “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!”
He then followed up with another message mentioning the official Twitter accounts for acting White House budget director Russ Vought, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and the Treasury Department. Hours later, the president deleted his original tweet and re-sent a similar tweet that said "absentee ballot applications" without noting his original mistake.
The president’s tweets inaccurately described a recent policy change in Michigan, where Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that all of the state’s registered voters would be mailed absentee ballot applications for the August down-ballot primaries and November general election — not a ballot directly.
Responding to the president, the secretary tweeted that “I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson,” and noted her office was sending applications “like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia.”
It is unclear who the president thinks needs to authorize Michigan’s decision; Republicans in Congress for years have resisted efforts to inject federal oversight into state and local elections.
A spokesperson for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s tweet.
In a press briefing at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany repeatedly declined to answer questions about what specifically Trump believed was illegal about Michigan’s efforts. Instead she reiterated Trump‘s unfounded claims, saying he was concerned about “a lot of fraud that is potentially at play when you have mass mail-in voting.“
McEnany wouldn’t say what funding Trump was considering withholding, telling reporters that the tweets were merely “meant to alert Secretary Mnuchin and Mr. Vought, head of OMB, about his concerns with trillions of dollars going to these states” given his concerns about mail-in voting.
“This is a concern, the president’s right to look at this, we want a free and fair election and that’s his concern,” she said.
Moments after the briefing, during a meeting with the governors of Arkansas and Kansas, Trump appeared to slightly walk back his threat to Michigan.
Asked by reporters which funding he wanted to freeze, Trump said only that he had “very specific funding in mind“ and pledged to keep the media apprised of whether a hold on funding would ultimately be necessary.
“I don’t think it‘s going to be necessary,“ he added.
McEnany also sidestepped questions about why the president was singling out only certain states, charging that because they pertained to ballots, the issue fell under the purview of Trump’s reelection campaign rather than the White House.