President Donald Trump, as he is wont to do, has called for the firing of a person he disagrees with.
On Wednesday, Trump inserted himself into Florida politics at a granular level when he told conservative news outlet the Daily Caller that he believes Florida state official Brenda Snipes should be “removed” from her duties as the Broward County supervisor of elections. Snipes, a Democrat, has become the target of widespread conservative attacks as Florida recounts votes for U.S. Senate, gubernatorial, and state agriculture commissioner races.
For his part, Trump pushed the conspiracy theory that Snipes was single-handedly working to undermine the election.
“When they call this woman incompetent, they’re wrong,” Trump told the Daily Caller. “She’s very competent, but in a bad way.” The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The president joins a chorus of prominent Republicans targeting Snipes. Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida who lost the 2016 Republican primary to Trump, called for Snipes to step down. Mike Huckabee also pushed a baseless claim that Florida officials were actively trying to undermine the election. Gov. Rick Scott, currently awaiting a recount in his race against Democrat Bill Nelson for a U.S. Senate seat, sued Snipes and her Palm Beach County counterpart, Susan Bucher, last week over the recount.
The Senate race in Florida is highly contentious, and Scott has filed five lawsuits against county election officials to try to secure a narrow victory. On the flip side, a group of Florida voters and organizations sued Scott over potential conflicts of interest in the race, including the fact that Scott sits on the board that certifies Florida’s elections.
So far, Snipes has tried to maintain a low profile as conservatives have turned her into a scapegoat for Florida’s election problems. She’s even alluded to the possibility that she’ll step down.
"It is time to move on, to let someone else” do the job, Snipes said to reporters on Tuesday.
It's not the first time Trump has wiggled his way into Florida's electoral process. In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump called for the recount to go in favor of Scott and Republican gubernatorial candidate, Ron DeSantis.
In his interview with the Daily Caller, Trump also pushed absurd conspiracy theories about voter fraud, for which no evidence exists.
“Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again,” Trump said.
Trump also told the Daily Caller that anyone who “buys a box of cereal” has a voter ID. It’s unclear what the president was trying to convey.
It’s unusual for presidents to publicly call for firings of state officials, but President Trump is no ordinary president. The president is, of course, famous for his TV firings, and once suggested that the NFL fire players who kneel during the national anthem. Just last week, Trump suggested at a news conference that CNN should no longer employ its chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, after he and the president got into a confrontation. CNN sued Trump and other White House officials this week over the revoking of Acosta’s press credentials.
Cover image: Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes answers questions at the Supervisor of Elections office in Lauderhill, Florida, in this Nov. 12, 2018 file photo, (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)