At a briefing on Friday, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the White House condemned Hong Kong's decision to delay its legislative council elections amid the coronavirus pandemic — a day after the president suggested delaying the 2020 presidential election.
On Friday, Hong Kong announced it would be pushing its elections back a year, citing concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19. Pro-democracy lawmakers in the semi-autonomous city say the move was an attempt by the pro-China majority to disenfranchise voters.
When asked for the White House response to Hong Kong's decision, McEnany read a prepared statement.
"We condemn the Hong Kong government's decision to postpone for one year its legislative council elections and disqualify opposition candidates," the statement read, in part. "This decision undermines the Democratic process and freedoms that underpin Hong Kong's prosperity, and this is only the latest in a growing list of promises by Beijing that promised autonomy and freedoms to the Hong Kong people."
On Thursday, President Donald Trump floated a delay of the 2020 presidential election in a tweet, citing his concerns with mail-in voting. It was just the latest in a series of several misleading tweets Trump has posted that push dubious information about mail-in voting.
The Constitution grants Congress the responsibility to set the dates for federal elections. The current election day date — the first Tuesday in each November — was established in a 1948 law.
Several top Republican lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said they would not support a bill to move the election.