President Donald Trump indicated on Tuesday that he expects the Supreme Court, which he hopes will include his newly nominated Justice, will be the one to decide the fate of the 2020 election.
“I'm counting on them to look at the ballots.” Trump said during Tuesday evening’s presidential debate. “I hope we don't need them,” he added. But the large numbers of anticipated mail-in ballots, Trump said, will inevitably mean questionable election results. “This is going to be a fraud like you have never seen,” he said.
Trump reiterated many of his prior, mostly dubious, condemnations of mail-in voting, casting the practice as susceptible to widespread fraud and declining to say that he’d abide by the certification of election results that determined he’d lost to former Vice President Joe Biden.
“You have a fraudulent election. Eighty million ballots,” he declared, referring to the total number of absentee ballots expected to be cast by November, which Trump has frequently, and inaccurately, conflated with the number of ballots sent, unsolicited, to American voters. “People aren't equipped,” Trump added. “And they cheat.”
Biden struck a different tone during the debate, pledging that he would accept the results regardless of the outcome. “If I win, that will be accepted. If I lose, it will be accepted,” he said.
Biden also pointed out that senior members of Trump’s own administration have contradicted his rhetoric on mail-in ballots. “His own Homeland Security director and FBI director says there's no evidence mail-in ballots are a source of being manipulated and cheating,” Biden pointed out.
Since they made those statements, Trump has sought to cast doubt on the credibility of senior members of his own administration who contradict his frequent claims of inevitable voter fraud in November.
On Tuesday, Trump also reiterated his threats to sic supporters on poll locations to root out allegedly suspect poll-site practices. “I am urging my people—I hope it's a fair election. If it's a fair election I'm 100 percent on board,” he said.
But “if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated I can't go along with that.”