Donald Trump Thinks We May ‘Never’ Know Election Winner, but It Could Be Nancy Pelosi
President Donald Trump on Friday said that there may “never” be a winner of November’s presidential election if voters are able to cast their votes by mail.
“Think of it,” a deflated Trump said at the annual Council for National Policy meeting. “They’re gonna send out 51 million, it could be higher than that, 51 million votes, no signature verification on many of them.”
Trump falsely claimed that “it’s mostly Democrat states” and “Democrat governors” who want to send mail-in ballots to voters, and that people voting by mail will “harvest” ballots.
“They’re going to send them to certain areas, I guess,” Trump rambled. “People are going to be getting them and they’ll send them back, and some of them… harvesting is allowed. That’s where you harvest them all together.”
Trump expressed confusion about who actually votes in American presidential elections.
“They will go all over the world and they’ll get people to sign them,” he said, “and they’ll drop thousands of them on a table just before the election.”
Trump insisted that mail-in voting would lead to a complete mess on election night, leaving the country without a president-elect.
“If you do this, you’ll never have an election count on November 3,” Trump proclaimed. “The greatest evening ever was four years ago… but we knew that night.” The results may not be known “for weeks, months, maybe never,” Trump said. “Maybe years, but maybe never.”
He repeated this over and over.
“I really don’t think that you’re gonna know anything on the evening – anything meaningful, or anything real – on the evenung of November 3, I don’t think you’re gonna know anything. You’re not gonna know what happened,” Trump groaned. “I don’t think you’ll know 2 weeks later. I don’t think you’ll know 4 weeks later. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The currents in Trump’s streams of consciousness then flowed flawlessly into another prediction – that if there is no clear winner, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) could assume the presidency.
“You know there’s a theory that if you don’t have it by the end of the year crazy Nancy Pelosi would become president,” Trump said. “You’ve heard that theory. Now I don’t know if it’s a theory or a fact, and I said, ‘that’s not good.'”
Watch Trump’s remarks below courtesy of CSPAN:
President Trump on election results: "I don't think you'll know 2 weeks later. I don't think you'll know 4 weeks later. I don't know what's going to happen. You know there's a theory that if you don't have it by the end of the year crazy Nancy Pelosi would become president." pic.twitter.com/zy50PpyHbo
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 21, 2020
Trump is correct only in that he has no idea what the facts are. The Speaker does not automatically become president in the event of a disputed election.
As Speaker, Pelosi’s spot in the presidential line of succession falls right behind Vice President Mike Pence’s. But a Pelosi ascension into the Oval Office is highly unlikely unless both Trump and Pence are unable to discharge the duties of the office.
If there is no clear winner in the Electoral College by December 14, the election goes to the House. Each state’s delegation gets one vote, and whichever candidate gets 26 votes wins.
But, by state caucus, the House is nearly split down the middle. Republicans control 25, Democrats have 24, and Pennsylvania, a crucial swing state with 20 Electoral College votes, is tied. But wait, it gets better. In Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Michigan – swing states with 65 combined electoral votes – the state delegations have a one-seat majority, and the results of House races could have a huge impact on how Congress votes.
“If the disputed or incomplete results don’t prevent a candidate from reaching 270 votes then it’s no big deal. Congress can ignore what’s missing and still pick a president,” Fox News noted in an analysis earlier this month. “But if the number of missing or disputed electors is large enough or the election close enough that the absence prevents either candidate from getting to 270, the House gets to choose. Just as would be the case in a 269-269 tie, the House would select one of the candidates who has won electoral votes.”
Either way, we will have a winner on or before January 20. Whether Trump leaves office peacefully or not is another matter.
Nevertheless, Trump offered no evidence to support his prediction that a mail-in election would be wrought with fraud because none exists.
For millions, mail-in voting is the only safe choice amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 174,000 Americans since March, and is expected to worsen in the fall and winter months.
As it happens, the president votes by mail. He and First Lady Melania Trump requested their mail-in ballots in Florida last Tuesday.