President Trump on Thursday told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that Democratic demands to fund mail-in voting and the U.S. Postal Service in ongoing coronavirus stimulus negotiations were a non-starter.

Why it matters: Trump directly linked Democrats' desired $3.6 billion for mail-in voting and $25 billion for the USPS to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

  • "Those are just two items. But if they don't get those two items, that means you can't have universal mail-in voting because they're not equipped to have it," Trump said.
  • He claimed the 2020 election could lead to "the greatest fraud in history."
  • The president expressed similar feelings during his press briefing on Wednesday. "They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can’t do it, I guess. ... Are they going to do it even if they don’t have the money?" he said.

Worth noting: Fraud from mail-in voting has historically been rare, according to the Brennan Center, with Oregon — a state that votes primarily by mail — documenting only about a dozen cases of fraud out of more than 100 million ballots since 2000.

What they're saying: Joe Biden responded to Trump's comments on Thursday, telling reporters at an event with Sen. Kamala Harris: "Pure Trump. He doesn’t want an election.”

  • Earlier in the day, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates issued a statement calling Trump's comments "an assault on our democracy and economy by a desperate man who's terrified that the American people will force him to confront what he's done everything in his power to escape for months — responsibility for his own actions."

The big picture: While some states have moved to universal mail-in voting and others have expanded access amid the pandemic, the rules are different across the country.

  • California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and D.C. are automatically sending voters mail-in ballots.
  • Other states may require voters to opt-in to vote early or require an excuse to vote absentee.
  • Axios has launched an interactive resource, built on research by RepresentUs, a nonpartisan election reform group, to help voters across the country to get the information they need on how to vote.

The other side: Congressional Democrats wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy this week, urging him not to issue new directives for handling election mail ahead of November's general election.

  • "Many state deadlines allow voters to request absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots within a few days of Election Day, so it is vital that standard delivery times remain low and pricing remain consistent with past practices to which election officials and voters are accustomed," they said.

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Poll: 62% say next election winner should pick Ginsburg's replacement

People pay their respects to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Washington, D.C. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

A majority of Americans, including many Republicans, want the winner of the November presidential election to nominate the next Supreme Court justice, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Sunday.

Why it matters: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said soon after the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death that President Trump's nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor. But since then, two Republicans — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before Election Day.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement sources said.

Trump supporters rally at polling place during early voting in Virginia

People stand on line, spaced six apart due to COVID-19, in order to vote early at the Fairfax Government Center on Friday in Fairfax, Virginia. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Supporters of President Trump descended on a polling place in Fairfax, Virginia, Saturday, chanting "four more years," as early voting continued in the state for a second day, video from the scene shows.

Driving the news: While the group did not directly block the Fairfax County Government Center entrance, some voters and elections staff "did feel intimidated by the crowd and we did provide escorts past the group," an official said, per the New York Times.

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