Taylor Swift calls Donald Trump a blatant cheat for refusing US Postal Service funding it needs to handle mail-in votes

US pop star Taylor Swift has called out President Donald Trump for his actions related to the postal service in a tweet that urged her nearly 87 million Twitter followers to request a ballot and to vote early.

“Trump’s calculated dismantling of USPS [US Postal Service] proves one thing clearly: He is well aware that we do not want him as our president,” she tweeted on Saturday. “He’s chosen to blatantly cheat and put millions of Americans’ lives at risk in an effort to hold on to power.”

She continued: “Donald Trump’s ineffective leadership gravely worsened the crisis that we are in and he is now taking advantage of it to subvert and destroy our right to vote and vote safely. Request a ballot early. Vote early.”

Swift’s tweet comes amid ongoing struggles at the USPS, the result of years-long financial woes that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Further complicating the postal service are cost-cutting measures implemented by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a former Trump donor, that have caused delays in service to some parts of the US.

The turbulence comes as many states take steps to bolster their mail-in-voting programmes amid the novel coronavirus pandemic to provide more opportunity to cast a ballot without showing up in person on election day.

The president, an outspoken opponent of mail-in ballots, last week said he wouldn’t support a bailout to the USPS in an effort to sabotage mail-in voting. He later backtracked and said he wouldn’t reject a bailout package that included funding to the postal service.

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Elections officials have encouraged voters to apply for their ballots as soon as possible to ensure every vote is counted.

During the 2016 election that saw Trump ascend from reality host to the presidency, Swift faced criticism for her reluctance to speak on politics. The artist detailed her path to becoming more politically active during her documentary Miss Americana, released on Netflix earlier this year.

Swift, who last month released her eighth album, Folklore, first spoke publicly on politics during the 2018 midterms, calling on her followers to register to vote and rebuking then-candidate and now Senator Marsha Blackburn, whom she called “Trump in a wig” in the 2020 documentary.

President Trump last week said he wouldn’t support a bailout of the USPS in an effort to sabotage mail-in voting, but later backtracked. Photo: Reuters

In May, Swift similarly blasted Trump, alleging he was “stoking the flames of white supremacy” after he threatened to send the National Guard to protests in Minneapolis and tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

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