The labor union representing postal workers on Thursday stiffened its defense against President Donald Trump’s onslaught against the U.S. Postal Service after Trump openly admitted he’s blocking funding that would make mail-in voting easier.
American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein called Trump’s confession “truly shameful” during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” and said postal workers are risking their lives delivering the mail during the pandemic while the president selfishly pursues his reelection campaign.
“He’s willing to hold back on that in order to either keep people from voting,” Dimondstein said. “Or to at least raise this idea that somehow vote by mail is not gonna work and your ballot’s not going to get there on time, and therefore, don’t bother voting at all.”
Trump blurted on Fox Business earlier on Thursday that he was blocking Postal Service funds for political purposes. “Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”
Throughout MSNBC’s broadcast, the union’s Twitter account pushed out videos from USPS employees, many of them military veterans, calling for urgent funding to continue the mail ― including handling prescription drug shipments, medical supplies, paychecks and absentee ballots to enable Americans to safely vote during the pandemic.
Thank you for your service @Sky_Lee_1 - there are around 100,000 veterans working for the USPS and more than 330,000 vets get their meds through the mail daily. They all deserve better than this! #SaveThePostOffice https://t.co/W5UjyGCgpN
— APWU National (@APWUnational) August 13, 2020
Without emergency relief, the Postal Service is facing a real threat of collapse. Nonetheless, Trump has spent months blocking desperately needed funding. His campaign is suing several states over provisions to facilitate mail-in voting, which he has repeatedly and baselessly claimed is fraudulent as part of his apparent effort to cast doubt and limit turnout ahead of the November election.
Following backlash over his comments Thursday, Trump said he would not veto a coronavirus relief bill just because it included support for the USPS. At the same time, he again pushed the unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voting will lead to illegitimate results.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.