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President Trump appeared to walk back his earlier threat on Wednesday to withhold unspecified federal funding to Michigan after attacking the state for expanding voting-by-mail options during the pandemic, telling reporters that he doesn't think it will be "necessary."

Catch up quick: Trump incorrectly tweeted Wednesday morning that Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson had sent all of the state's citizens mail-in ballots. He later issued a corrected tweet specifying that Benson had only sent citizens mail-in ballot applications.

  • Trump's tweets claimed the move was "done illegally and without authorization" and that he would ask to "hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path."
  • There is no evidence that the move to send out absentee ballot applications is illegal, and it's unclear whether the president has the power to alter or withhold any appropriated funds to states without congressional approval.
  • Trump did not threaten states with Republican governors like Georgia and Iowa that are also sending absentee ballot applications to all voters.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed at a press conference that "many" mail-in ballots can be "fraudulent," but declined to say what Trump thought was illegal about Michigan's move. She deferred further questions to the Trump campaign.

  • While Trump seemed to walk back the threat to withhold federal funding, he said that he believes "mail-in ballots are a very dangerous thing" and are "subject to massive fraud."

Between the lines: Many states have placed an increased emphasis on access to early voting this year in order to promote social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • But the Republican Party and Trump's re-election campaign have largely sought to push back against attempts to expand mail-in voting.
  • "Democrats are trying to use coronavirus and the courts to legalize ballot harvesting, implement a nationwide mail-in ballot system, and eliminate nearly every safeguard in our elections," a newly launched site by the Republican National Committee reads.

Experts have found voting fraud to be rare in the U.S., but do conclude that mail-in voting is more susceptible, per the New York Times.

Go deeper

RNC chairwoman chides Hillary Clinton for advising Biden to not concede election results

Screenshot: Axios Events

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Wednesday called for "an uproar from Democrat media" after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly advised presidential candidate Joe Biden to not concede the election "under any circumstances."

What she's saying: During an Axios virtual event, McDaniel said: "I think there should be an uproar from the Democrat media that attacks Donald Trump anytime he says anything about mail-in voting. If I had said that the president shouldn't accept the results of an election, it would be wall to wall coverage."

27 mins ago - World

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.