But when asked later at his news conference if he would veto any legislation that contained more money for the post office and election security, Mr. Trump said no, suggesting that he was using the issue in part as a negotiating chip with congressional Democrats on the larger stimulus package.
“All they have to do is make a deal,” he said. “If they make a deal, the Postal Service is taken care of, the money they need for the mail-in ballots would be taken care of — if we agree to it. That doesn’t mean we are going to agree to it, but all they have to do is make a deal.”
The Postal Service has said regularly that it can handle any surge in volume from mail balloting this fall. More than three-quarters of voters will be able to cast their ballots by mail this year.
Mr. Trump has assailed the money-losing Postal Service in recent months, at the same time warning that voting by mail will lead to fraud, lost or stolen ballots and long delays in determining a winner. (On Wednesday, both the president and the first lady, Melania Trump, were mailed ballots, Palm Beach County, Fla., election records show. It was first reported by The Palm Beach Post. Late Thursday, Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said, “The president supports absentee voting, not universal mail-in voting, which contain several safeguards that prevent fraud and abuse.”)
The appointment as postmaster general in May of Louis DeJoy, a Trump campaign contributor with significant financial interests in the Postal Service’s competitors and contractors, has prompted further concerns about the politicization of the agency, particularly after Mr. DeJoy put in place policy changes that have slowed mail delivery in some areas.
Mr. DeJoy has kept tens of millions of dollars invested in XPO Logistics, a Postal Service contractor for which he was a board member, first reported by CNN on Wednesday. However, he sold his stake in United Parcel Service, a major rival for the post office, in June, according to financial disclosures.
Shortly after he divested between $100,000 and $250,000 in Amazon stock the same month, he bought $50,000 to $100,000 in stock options for the company. Amazon, a frequent subject of Mr. Trump’s attacks, is a major competitor to the Postal Service in package delivery.