Trump fields audience questions on mail-in voting, riots, says Democrats 'destroying our country'

By Brie Stimson | Fox News

President Trump’s Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity on Thursday night presented a rare opportunity for the nation’s commander-in-chief to answer questions coming directly from everyday Americans.

Town hall audience members in Green Bay, Wis., didn’t hold back, asking the president about numerous topics, including mail-in voting, the recent rioting in America’s cities — and what Trump considered to be his greatest accomplishment since taking office.

Addressing one audience member’s inquiry, Trump said he thought mail-in voting posed the “biggest risk” to a fair election come November.

‘The most important question’

“I think it’s the most important question I’ll be asked,” Trump said after the audience member wanted to know how the president will make sure the election is “free from fraudulent absentee votes and mail-in ballots.”

Trump raised his concerns about states like California that plan to do an all-mail-in ballot election this fall over coronavirus concerns. The president said mail-in ballots would call into question the integrity of the election.

A “Hannity” town hall audience member in Green Bay, Wis., on Thursday asks President Trump about protecting November’s election.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been “mailing out millions and millions of ballots,” Trump told the audience. “Where are they going?…Is the postman going to hand them out? Are they going to take them out of the mailbox?”

The president added his concerns that a country like China could “print millions of ballots using the exact same paper” in an attempt to interfere in the election.

Some election officials and voting experts, however, have challenged the president’s assertion, pointing to safeguards that states use to protect the authenticity of mail-in ballots.

Trump also made a distinction between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots because of the safeguards in requesting an absentee ballot.

“People go through a process for that — but the mail-in ballots, they mail them to anybody and they send them out by the millions,” the president said.

“The mail-in ballots, they mail them to anybody and they send them out by the millions.”— President Trump

He added that he has voted via absentee ballot because his voting address is in Florida even though he spents most of his time at the White House in Washingtion, D.C.

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Trump added that he thought most people prefer to vote in person on Election Day.

“We went through World War I and we voted, we went through World War II and we voted. And now we have a virus, and by that time [November] it’ll be less and less,” he said.

“We went through World War I and we voted, we went through World War II and we voted. And now we have a virus, and by that time [November] it’ll be less and less.”— President Trump

‘These people are vandals’

Another audience member asked the president what the administration would do to keep the streets safe after the unrest in Wisconsin this week.

The president responded by saying that if former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, were still running the state, it wouldn’t have happened. (Wisconsin’s current governor is Tony Evers, a Democrat.)

An audience member in Green Bay, Wis., asks President Trump about how the administration will keep the streets safe from unrest. 

“You happen to have a Democrat governor right now,” the president said. “Democrats think it’s wonderful that they’re destroying our country. It’s a very sick thing going on, nobody’s ever seen it.”

“Democrats think it’s wonderful that they’re destroying our country. It’s a very sick thing going on, nobody’s ever seen it.”— President Trump

Trump also claimed the “radical left” was manipulating presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and would soon “take him over.”

“With that being said, the Republicans have to get tougher,” Trump said. “I’m telling them all the time, because they’re sitting back, they want to be politically correct. … And we told them, every night we’re going to get tougher and tougher, and at some point there’s going to be retribution because there has to be.”

“Republicans have to get tougher. I’m telling them all the time, because they’re sitting back, they want to be politically correct.”— President Trump

“These people are vandals, but they’re agitators. But they’re really — they’re terrorists in a sense.”

‘We’ll have close to 300 judges’

When asked by another audience member about what he considered his greatest accomplishment while in office, Trump first noted the historic number of judges his administration has been able to get confirmed.

An audience member in Green Bay, Wis., asks President Trump what he believes has been his greatest accomplishment. 

“I think before I’m finished this term, we’ll have close to 300 judges — federal judges,” he said. “That’s a number that nobody can even believe, and part of it was that President Obama was unable to get judges approved in a large number — about 142 judges. So I took it off, got them approved, and then got a lot approved beyond.”

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He said he’s also proud of how his administration has rebuilt the military, launched Space Force and gotten Republican-backed tax cuts signed into law.

Taking on the media

Trump also told Fox News host Sean Hannity he believed he wouldn’t have been elected president in 2016 if he didn’t “take on the media.”

“The New York Times is so dishonest, The Washington Post is so dishonest. They write things — you can do something great and they can make it sound horrible. You could do something, and they can make it sound beyond belief bad, like it’s the worst thing ever.”

“The New York Times’ is so dishonest, The Washington Post is so dishonest. They write things — you can do something great and they can make it sound horrible.”— President Trump

During the wideranging interview, Trump said he believes his former national security adviser, John Bolton, should be prosecuted for “releas[ing] classified” information. The president also said he plans on building on the accomplishments from his first term if he is reelected.

“I never did this before,” Trump said of the presidency. “I didn’t know very many people in Washington. It wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York. … Now, I know everybody and I have great people in the administration.”

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