Donald Trump walks back suggestion of delayed US election

President drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats following comments

The date of the presidential election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year — is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change. Photograph: The New York Times

The date of the presidential election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year — is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change. Photograph: The New York Times

 

US President Donald Trump has walked back the idea of a “delay” to November’s presidential election just hours after suggesting it.

Mr Trump was criticised by both the Republicans and the Democrats after raising the possibility of delaying the poll as he made unsubstantiated allegations that increased postal voting will result in fraud.

The president told reporters: “Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election.”

It marked a shift in the language of a president lagging in the polls and grappling with deepening economic and public health crises.

His earlier suggestion of the delay drew immediate pushback from Democrats and Republicans alike in a nation that has held itself up as a beacon to the world for its history of peaceful transfer of power.

Shifting election day is virtually impossible and the very idea represented another bracing attempt by Mr Trump to undermine confidence in the American political system.

The date of the presidential election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year — is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change.