U.S. President-elect Donald Trump claimed without providing evidence that he would have won the popular vote if millions of illegal votes were excluded, hours after criticizing an effort to recount votes in three battleground states.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally, Trump, a Republican, told his 16 million Twitter followers Sunday. In a subsequent tweet, he claimed the media wasnt reporting serious voter fraud in the Democratic-leaning states of California, New Hampshire and Virginia.
Trump offered nothing to back up his allegations of wrongdoing in the Nov. 8 election — one that returned to his pre-election mantra of a rigged result. Although Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton 306-232 in the decisive state-by-state Electoral College, the former secretary of state leads Trump by more than 2.2 million votes in the nationwide popular vote, according to a running tally by the non-partisan Cook Political Report.
It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him, Alex Padilla, Californias secretary of state, said on Twitter. His unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd. His reckless tweets are inappropriate and unbecoming of a President-elect.
No Credible Evidence
Cook shows Clinton with 64.66 million total votes to Trumps 62.43 million, or a lead of 48.1 percent to 46.5 percent. Third-party and other candidates received 7.24 million votes, or about 5.4 percent. In 13 swing states, Trump won 48.4 percent of the vote to Clintons 46.6 percent.
There is no credible evidence I have seen to show large numbers of noncitizens voting in U.S. elections anywhere, Rick Hasen, a political science professor at University of California, Irvine, told PolitiFact in its Nov. 18 fact-check debunking claims similar to Trumps, which have spread on conspiracy-theory websites. The idea that 3 million noncitizens could have illegally voted in our elections without being detected is obscenely ludicrous.
Pressed for evidence for Trumps claims, spokesman Jason Miller told reporters Monday that the media should give the appropriate level of attention to vote integrity concerns as opposed to just chasing the shiny object of the Jill Stein recount effort, which he said has no chance of overturning the elections outcome. He referred to disputed research by two political scientists published by the Washington Post in 2014, and to a 2012 Pew Center on the States report calling for error-plagued and inefficient voter-registration systems to be modernized.
Earlier on Sunday, Trump had criticized recounts proposed for Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which are being spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein — an effort that Clintons campaign said Saturday it would join.
In seven early-morning Twitter posts, Trump recounted previous comments by Clinton on the need to accept the election results, culminating in her concession speech on Nov. 9. So much time and money will be spent — same result! Sad, Trump concluded. On Saturday, he called the Green Partys recount efforts a scam to fill up their coffers.
Michigans Board of State Canvassers certified Trumps 10,704-vote winning margin there on Monday, and Stein has until Wednesday to ask for a recount, the Associated Press reported.
Trump aides on Sunday fanned out across political talk shows to cast cold water on the recount efforts.
Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff, said on Fox News Sunday that the planned recount would serve only to divide this country when we need to come together.
The effort was confounding and disappointing, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said on NBCs Meet the Press. It turns out Team Hillary and their new BFF Jill Stein cant accept reality, Conway said Saturday in a statement.
Stein has raised more than $6.3 million for her recount effort, with a $7 million goal, according to a running tally on her website.
Clintons campaign will participate in the recount in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias said Saturday.
Elias, in a post on the blogging website Medium, added that he doesnt expect the action to overturn Trumps election. He also detailed exhaustive efforts already undertaken by the Democrats team to assure the validity of the vote.
Clintons campaign hadnt planned to initiate the recounts on its own because it hasnt found any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, Elias wrote.
A senior administration official, meanwhile, said in a statement that the government didnt observe any increased level of malicious cyber-activity aimed at disrupting the election on election day and believes the elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.