During a Coronavirus Task Force news conference at the White House on Thursday, Trump took aim at mail-in ballots, saying if they are used on a wide scale in the national election on November 3, they will cause immense problems and open the electoral process up for interference and fraud.
“You see what’s happening in so many places … even trial runs are a disaster," Trump said. “The Democrats know this."
"Stupid people don't know it," he later added. “Our country will be a laughing stock all over the world ... We’re asking for a lot of trouble."
Trump's comments came in response to a question about comments he made on Twitter earlier in the day that suggested the election might be postponed as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want an election and a result much, much more than you," Trump said. "Do I want to see a date change? No, but I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history if that happens."
“We want to have an election. I’d love to see voter ID, but this is the opposite of voter ID," Trump continued.
“They talk about Russia, Russia, Russia, they talk about China, they talk all of these countries," Trump said about the Democrats, adding that by comparison to any of the theories floated about ostensible meddling by foreign powers, "this is easy, you can forge ballots, it’s much easier for foreign countries."
Portland is a 'Beehive of Terrorists'
A reporter from Trump's favored One America News Network (OANN) asked the president if, with federal police beginning to pull out of Portland, Oregon, the state police forces could "quell the protests in Portland" without them.
Trump said the federal police deployed to the West Coast city have "done a fantastic job" defending federal buildings there. He added that while the protests were widely reported as largely peaceful, "they tried to pretend it was a protest instead of anarchists, agitators."
"Our people are staying to see whether or not Oregon State Police can crush the protests by themselves. "And if they don't do it, we will send in the National Guard and we'll take care of it," Trump said.
"Many should be arrested, because these are professional agitators, professional anarchists," he said. "These are people that hate our country. We are telling them right now that we're coming in very soon. The National Guard, a lot of people, a lot of very tough people. And these are not people that just have to guard the courthouse and save it, these are people that are allowed to go forward and to do what they have to do. And I think that makes the governor's job and the mayor's job a lot easier."
"So they're working today and probably tomorrow to clean out this beehive of terrorists, and if they do it I'm going to be very happy."
Economic Recovery Legislation
During the news conference itself, Trump told reporters he had these main points of focus for federal lawmakers with regards to the economy.
One is a temporary extension of unemployment benefits, which he called “a critical bridge” for Americans who lost jobs “through no fault of their own.” He also asked Democrats to work with the Republican Party to find a solution to temporarily stop evictions caused by the collapse of people’s incomes, as well as a new round of economic relief payments like those that distributed checks to families during the early months of the shutdown.
Trump also asked for help passing a bill providing $105 billion in funding to help schools safely reopen for the 2020-2021 school year, which will happen in the next six weeks.
“Democrats have to reject the extreme partisan voices in their party” in order to get these economic recovery measures passed, he said.