Trump says Pence will lead investigation into non-existent voter fraud

Ned Reskinoff

Ned Reskinoff Senior Editor, ThinkProgress

In a pre-Super Bowl interview that aired on Sunday, President Donald Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that he would establish a commission led by Vice President Mike Pence to investigate allegations of widespread voter fraud.

“We’re going to look at it very, very carefully,” said Trump.

There is, of course, no widespread voter fraud, and multiple independent observers have debunked Trump’s claims to the contrary. But the president has spent weeks repeating the false claim that undocumented immigrants cast three to five million votes against him — a lie that seems intended to explain away his loss of the popular vote by more than two million ballots cast.

In response to questioning about the “voter fraud” lie, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated in late January that the Trump administration would pursue an investigation into it. Not long after, Pence privately told Republican members of Congress that there would be “a full evaluation of voting rolls in this country.” Trump seemed poised to sign an executive order mandating some kind of inquiry.

But then the administration seemed to let it slide. By the end of Trump’s second week in office, the administration had quietly backed down, with one anonymous staffer telling CNN that voter fraud was no longer a “priority.”

But judging by Trump’s interview with Bill O’Reilly, “voter fraud” — likely a thin pretext to implement voter suppression tactics on the federal level — is once again a priority.

Shortly before announcing the Pence-led commission, Trump dug in on his false allegations of voter fraud and insisted he had been vindicated by, well, “many people.”

“Many people have come out and said I am right,” the president told O’Reilly. He offered no additional support to his claims.

Earlier Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he didn’t think federal funds should be spent on a voter fraud investigation.

“This sort of thing is handled at the state level, and the Democrats always claim there’s no election fraud at all. That is, of course, not true — election fraud does occur,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “There’s no evidence that it occurred in such a significant number that would have changed the presidential election, and I don’t think we ought to spend any federal money investigating that,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Of course, it will be difficult for a commission headed by the vice president to conduct any business without dipping into the federal coffers.

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Reposted from ThinkProgress.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work