White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany offered a creative explanation for why Trump threatened Michigan and Nevada on Twitter.
Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to withhold federal funding from Michigan and Nevada after those states made efforts to ease voting during the pandemic. Michigan is sending absentee ballots to residents, and Nevada is encouraging residents to vote by mail.
Without evidence, Trump claimed on Twitter that those states were acting "illegally."
In 2016, Trump narrowly won Michigan and lost Nevada. In both states, more Americans disapprove than approve of Trump by a double-digit margin.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany later in the day said Trump's tweets were meant to "alert" his own administration to his unspecified legal concerns. McEnany did not explain why Trump could not communicate his issues in a phone call to the officials he put in power.
From a May 20 White House press briefing:
JOHN ROBERTS: What does the president believe is "illegal" about the secretary of state in Michigan sending out absentee ballot applications and what federal funding is he considering withholding from the state of Michigan as a result?
KAYLEIGH McENANY: So, you know, I won't get into exactly what the funding considerations are. I would note that his tweets were meant to alert Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin and Mr. [Russell] Vought — head of OMB — about his concerns with trillions of dollars going to these states and his noted concern about a lot of fraud that's potentially at play when you have mass mail-in voting.
So with regard to the legality and illegality of it, that's a question for the campaign as to their voting and ballot practices. I would just note that his tweet was meant to alert OMB. He wanted to be very careful when we send trillions of dollars to states that we keep this important in mind and we assure that there is fairness in our voting system and absolute accuracy.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.