"A huge risk": Trump’s allies can’t sway him on mail-in voting

Unlike the president, Trump’s own campaign has spent weeks urging supporters in 17 targeted states to mail in their ballots, making pleas through a dedicated website, Facebook ads and robocalls narrated by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

“If you’re Donald Trump, you need every vote you can get, no matter how you can get it,” said Scott Jennings, who worked under President George W. Bush and is close to the Trump White House. “We’re in a close race. The president needs to tell their supporters to vote any way they can — and as soon as possible.”…

But Trump simultaneously continued his almost daily rants about massive election fraud and rigged elections in tweets, interviews and speeches. And then last week, while on another tirade about remote voting, Trump appeared to encourage North Carolina residents to illegally cast two ballots — by mail and in person — prompting a fresh spate of worries by his allies. Despite pointed condemnations from even some Republican election officials, Trump is still urging his supporters to go to polling stations on Election Day to see if their mail-in ballot was received, exacerbating confusion…

“Hell, he’s been told for four years he needs to be more precise with his language,” said a former White House official. “The problem with saying stupid stuff like that is it helps the other side delegitimize legitimate concerns.”