Jared Kushner Admits His Comments About Changing Election Date Are Baseless

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and advisor to President Donald Trump, said on Tuesday that he couldn’t promise the date of the November elections wouldn’t change. He referred to November elections continuing on schedule as “the plan,” but said that he couldn’t guarantee this wouldn’t change. Now he’s admitted that, as far as he knows, there have been no discussions of delaying elections. The election is scheduled for the first Tuesday in November by Federal statute, and neither Kushner not Trump has legal authority to change it.

Kushner admits he knows nothing about election change
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Speaking to Time on Tuesday, Jared Kushner discussed the risks of reopening businesses, schools, and government offices across the country too early. Still, he said, more factors have to be taken into account than merely the deaths from reopening, and that sufficient testing, social distancing, and mask-wearing will help to reopen safely.

Asked about the November elections, Kushner gave a response that blew up across social media: “I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other, but right now that’s the plan.” Kushner admitted at the time that it wouldn’t be his decision, but seemed to hint that the election date might be subject to change.

It set off a firestorm of responses from government officials, attorneys, and people who did well in social studies class, all jumping in to explain why neither Jared, Trump, nor the Trump team have any authority to move an election date.

Hillary Clinton even weighed in.

I can’t believe I have to write this sentence, but the president’s son-in-law doesn’t get to decide when the election is.

Kushner walked back the comments Tuesday morning, according to the Washington Post, admitting that he hasn’t been involved in any discussion about the date of the November elections, or about any delays, nor have any such measures been considered as far as he is aware.

It’s not the first time the notion has come up. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has floated the possibility that Trump would try to prevent the election from taking place. However, the election date, set in law, would require Congressional legislative action to change, and the Constitution dictates that the presidential term ends at noon on January 20th, so even a change in election date would not permit an incumbent to stay in office past that date.

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