Trump claims Democrats trying to 'steal' election

WASHINGTON — In an event that seemed more like a campaign rally than a convention, President Trump used his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination to make unfounded accusations about electoral security, relitigate the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest and muse about a presidential ticket made up of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln campaigning on a liberal platform in Texas.

“This is the greatest scam in the history of politics,” Trump said at one point during his remarks, in reference to plans by millions of Americans to vote by mail in November’s presidential election. 

It was far from the event Trump had imagined, with the coronavirus pandemic having largely frustrated his plans for a celebratory Republican National Convention. He had intended to move part of the convention to Jacksonville, Fla., but called that plan off after cases of COVID-19 surged in Florida earlier this summer.

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US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One prior to departure from Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, June 25, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he walks on the South Lawn after arriving on Marine One at the White House, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Washington. Trump is returning from Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

TOPSHOT – US President Donald Trump walks to board Air Force One prior to departure from Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, June 25, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after arriving on Marine One at the White House, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Washington. Trump is returning from Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 16: President Donald J. Trump signs an executive order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities in the Rose Garden at the White House on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump gestures following a tour of Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, June 25, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

MARINETTE, WISCONSIN – JUNE 25: US President Donald Trump speaks to workers during a visit to the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on June 25, 2020 in Marinette, Wisconsin. The company was recently awarded a $5.5 billion contract to build ships for the U.S. Navy. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

TULSA, USA – JUNE 20: U.S. President Donald Trump meet his supporters at his ”Make America Great Again” rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

TULSA, OK – JUNE 20: President Donald J. Trump speaks during a “Make America Great Again!” rally at the BOK Center on Saturday, June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, OK. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 16: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for an event in the Rose Garden on “Safe Policing for Safe Communities”, at the White House June 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump signed an executive order on police reform amid the growing calls after the death of George Floyd. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 16: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as members of law enforcement look on during an event in the Rose Garden on “Safe Policing for Safe Communities”, at the White House June 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump signed an executive order on police reform amid the growing calls after the death of George Floyd. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, June 16, 2020. (Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 16: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden on “Safe Policing for Safe Communities”, at the White House June 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump will sign an executive order on police reform amid the growing calls after the death of George Floyd. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 15: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable on “Fighting for America’s Seniors” at the Cabinet Room of the White House June 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump participated in the roundtable to discuss the administration’s efforts to “safeguard America’s senior citizens” from COVID-19. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 15: U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a roundtable on “Fighting for America’s Seniors” at the Cabinet Room of the White House June 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump participated in the roundtable to discuss the administration’s efforts to “safeguard America’s senior citizens” from COVID-19. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 15: U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a roundtable on “Fighting for America’s Seniors” at the Cabinet Room of the White House June 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump participated in the roundtable to discuss the administration’s efforts to “safeguard America’s senior citizens” from COVID-19. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting on seniors in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC, June 15, 2020. – President Donald Trump holds a roundtable discussion with senior citizens called Fighting for Americas Seniors on Monday. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting on seniors in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC, June 15, 2020. – President Donald Trump holds a roundtable discussion with senior citizens called Fighting for Americas Seniors on Monday. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump listens during a roundtable meeting on seniors in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC, June 15, 2020. – President Donald Trump holds a roundtable discussion with senior citizens called Fighting for Americas Seniors on Monday. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump speaks during an event on police reform, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable about America’s seniors, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, June 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump listens during a roundtable about America’s seniors, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, June 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sunday, June 14, 2020, after stepping off Marine One as he returns from his golf club in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)




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And so the president arrived in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday to deliver the first of what are slated to be several speeches he plans to make during the RNC. He will make his main speech on Thursday evening. Monday’s remarks came after, as expected, Trump easily surpassed the 1,276 delegate endorsements needed to secure the nomination. 

“I just tell it like it is,” he said in a freewheeling speech that included a number of misstatements, exaggerations and insinuations. 

“Your American Dream will be dead,” he said of a potential Democratic victory, referring specifically to judicial appointments, which have been a hallmark of his own administration. Trump celebrated those appointments, as well as his tax cut for corporations and wealthy individuals. He did not, however, offer much substance on what a second Trump term might look like. 

A significant portion of his speech focused on unfounded accusations that voting by mail will result in widespread fraud that will help his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election. We’re gonna win this election,” Trump said, describing what he said were record levels of enthusiasm for his presidency. In fact, more than half of Americans disapprove of the job he is doing.

Protesters hold a "Save the Post Office" demonstration outside a United States Postal Service location in Los Angeles, California, on August 22, 2020. (Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images)

And yet Trump has continued to assert that Democrats can win only by cheating, which he charges they intend to do by engaging in systematic mail fraud. Fraud is infrequent when it comes to voting by mail, which many people may prefer to do in the midst of a pandemic. 

“What they’re doing is using COVID to steal an election,” Trump said in Charlotte, referring to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, which has killed about 176,000 Americans. “They’re using COVID to defraud the American people — all of our people — of a fair and free election.”

Studies have shown that one party does not benefit inordinately over the other from voting by mail. 

That has not stopped Trump from making accusations that some believe could cause a loss of confidence in the November election. “They’re going to mail out 80 million ballots. It’s impossible, they have no idea. Who’s mailing them? Mostly Democrat states and Democrat governors.” 

Contrary to that assertion, many Republican governors support and encourage voting by mail. Trump, a resident of Florida, votes by mail, as do many top officials in the White House. 

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