The day before, Trump suggested that the vote in the United States should be postponed.
The White House on Friday condemned Hong Kong for delaying its next legislative election by a year, even when President Donald Trump a day earlier provoked a significant setback for proposing that the United States postpone its own November vote.
Earlier Friday, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam used emergency services to push the city̵
“We condemn the Hong Kong Government’s decision to postpone an election to the Legislative Council for a year and to disqualify opposition candidates,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told a news conference.
She continued, “This action undermines the democratic processes and freedoms that have underpinned Hong Kong’s prosperity and is just the latest in a growing list of broken promises from Beijing, which promised autonomy and freedoms to the Hong Kong people until 2047 in the Joint Declaration on Chinese British declaration. “
Lam cited the continued spread of the new coronavirus for his decision to delay the vote, in which pro-democracy candidates were expected to gain a historic majority in the legislature. They had received support amid protests against Beijing and the popularity of restrictive national security legislation set by mainland China.
The White House’s lawsuit by a foreign government that delayed the election came just a day after Trump proposed postponing this year’s general election in the United States.
The deeply unpopular president is facing a tough fight for re-election, as nearly two-thirds of Americans in a recent ABC News / Ipsos poll said they did not approve of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide racial unrest and relations with Russia.
In a tweet on Thursday morning, Trump criticized mail-in polls, declaring without proof that “2020 will be the most INACTIVE & FRAUDULENT election in history” and adding, “Delay the election until people can properly, safely and securely vote ??? ”
Trump, who is entering polls in key states on the battlefield, would not immediately say at a news conference later Thursday if he seriously advocated for the move, but he continued to say doubts in the election, scheduled for November 3.
“I do not want to delay,” Trump told reporters. “I want the election. But I also do not want to have to wait for three months and then find out that all the votes are missing and the election does not matter.”
Election experts have removed theories of widespread fraud by post-vote and it is not up to the Presidency to change the election.
Trump’s idea withdrew from members of Congress and officials across the political spectrum, including senior Republican officials who rejected the idea.
“Never in the country’s history through war, depression, and civil war have we ever had a federally planned election in time,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Kentucky television station WNKY. “And we’ll find a way to do it again on November 3.”
ABC News’ Britt Clennett, Karson Yiu, Will Steakin, Libby Cathey and Kendall Karson contributed to this report.