Donald Trump Is Already Accusing Democrats of Stealing the Next Election

(They’re not.)

Oliver Contreras/CNP/ZUMA

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It’s only mid-April (yes, I had to check) and President Donald Trump is already accusing Democrats of “trying to steal the election out from under [him].” Here’s an email Trump’s re-election campaign sent out to supporters Friday afternoon:

As with many Trump statements, it’s a futile and counterproductive exercise to try to debunk it in full, but he (okay, his campaign’s digital fundraising staffer) is referring to a push, mainly by Democrats, to expand absentee voting access before the fall. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a global pandemic that’s shut down life as we know it in the United States, and turned the act of in-person-voting—or working at a voting precinct—into a life-threatening proposition. Wouldn’t it be nice to vote without dying? And some states, such as California, Oregon, and Washington, already make it possible for anyone to cast their vote by mail—in fact they’ve been doing it a long time with no real issues or fraud. (Incidentally, there was a big case of absentee-ballot fraud in 2018—which ended in a do-over election and the indictment of a Republican campaign worker.)

Trump’s full of bluster, but let’s not lose sight how insane this is. The sitting president is accusing his opponents of “trying to steal” the election simply because they want to make sure people are able to vote safely in a pandemic—and he’s doing it just to raise money. At least it’s going to a good place.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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