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Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama tweeted Friday that everyday Americans could become "collateral damage" if President Trump continues to attempt to slash funding for the U.S. Postal Service as part of his campaign against mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Trump linked his baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud on Thursday to the current impasse in coronavirus stimulus negotiations.

  • "Everyone depends on the USPS. Seniors for their Social Security, veterans for their prescriptions, small businesses trying to keep their doors open. They can't be collateral damage for an administration more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus," Obama said.
  • He advised Americans to vote early during a podcast chat with his 2012 campaign manager David Plouffe: "If you're in a state where you have the option to vote early, you need to do that now, because the more votes are in early, the less likely you're going to see a last minute crunch."

The big picture: Obama also told Plouffe that the arrival of a vaccine before Election Day could "change the dynamic" in the presidential contest, giving Trump an opportunity to take credit for any economic boost caused by the vaccine.

  • "It is possible that some of the trials that are being done result in us knowing before the election that a vaccine is on the way," Obama said.
  • "That might relieve people's anxieties, and that's good, we should hope for that. But that also can change the dynamic, particularly when you have a president who takes responsibility for nothing but takes credit for everything," he added.

The bottom line: Obama's analyses reveals concern in the highest levels of Democratic circles about Trump's ability to turn the race around, even as most public polling gives Joe Biden a comfortable lead.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign asks Georgia for another election recount

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Georgia will conduct another presidential election results recount following a Trump campaign request on Saturday.

Why it matters: State election officials and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Friday certified Georgia's election results that show President-elect Joe Biden officially won the state by just over 12,600 votes.

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.