White House Clarifies There's No Plan to Put Off November 3 Election

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says President Trump has not looked at delaying any election.

Top US officials have clarified that there is no plan to postpone the upcoming US presidential election. White House officials have said the election will be held as planned on November 3. The clarification came in the backdrop of President Donald Trump's statement last week that there is a possibility of delaying the polls.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the President was only raising concerns about mail-in ballots. "We're going to hold an election on November 3 and the President is going to win," Meadows told CBS News on Sunday.

The Chief of Staff added that Trump "has not looked at delaying any election". Meadows's remarks were echoed by presidential campaign adviser Jason Miller, who told Fox News on Sunday that "the election is going to be on November 3 and President Trump wants the election to be on November 3".

White House
WASHINGTON, March 3, 2018 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secret Service agents stand guard on the north side of the White House after a man shot himself in front of the White House, Washington D.C., the United States, on March 3, 2018. The man who shot himself in front of the White House on Saturday was dead, said local police. The man, who was not identified yet, was in a large crowd when he fired the gun, the Washington Post reported, citing witnesses. (Xinhua/Yang Chenglin/IANS) Xinhua/Yang Chenglin/IANS

'Inaccurate & Fraudulent Election'

In his tweet on July 29, Trump claimed — without providing any proof or evidence — that "universal mail-in voting" would make November's vote "the most inaccurate & fraudulent election in history".

"It will be a great embarrassment to the USA," he said.

"Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"

But later in the day, Trump said that he did not want to delay the election, saying: "I don't want a delay. I want to have the election... But I don't want to see a crooked election.

"But I also don't want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn't mean anything. That's what's going to happen... that's common sense. Mail-in ballots will lead to the greatest fraud."

Bipartisan Pushback

Donald Trump
Donald Trump addressing the nation in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, June 1. YouTube / TIME

Trump's delay tweet immediately ignited a political firestorm and drew bipartisan pushback from Capitol Hill, as legal analysts agreed that Trump has no authority to delay the election as the US Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date.

Election Day takes place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as determined by federal law. Moving the date would require an act of Congress.

Top Republicans — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — both dismissed the idea.

Trump ally Senator Lindsay Graham meanwhile said a delay was "not a good idea".

(With IANS Inputs)