Reporters grilled White House press secretary Sean Spicer during Tuesday’s press briefing about President Donald Trump’s renewal of his false claim that millions of people voted illegally in the November election.
Trump has stated that he would have won the popular vote, which he lost by 3 million votes to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, if millions of people did not supposedly vote illegally, a claim supported by no evidence and judged untrue by numerous fact-checkers and voting officials.
Trump brought up the claims during a Monday night meeting with congressional leaders, which dismayed several Republicans.
Asked by a number of reporters Tuesday, Spicer said the president stands by his belief that millions voted illegally, saying the belief is based on “evidence and studies” he’s been presented.
Spicer insisted that Trump is “very comfortable with his win,” which was secured with more than 300 electoral votes, and the press secretary seemed to play off Trump’s Monday evening remarks as a simple “discussion with some folks.”
“This is a longstanding thing that he’s believed,” he said.
Pressed to provide any of the studies or evidence he was speaking of, Spicer said there was a 2008 study from Pew that showed 14% of people who voted were not citizens.
The study frequently mention by Trump in past instances during the campaign, however, was not from 2008, but 2012. The report stated that 24 million voter registrations were no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate, more than 1.8 million dead people are listed as voters, and about 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state. The report made no claims that those people voted illegally in an election, as it was written as an argument for modernising the US voting system.
Spicer would then be asked if the administration would launch a voter fraud investigation, to which he said “maybe we will.”
He later said there is no investigation at the moment, but that one would be possible to launch.
Asked if he personally believed that millions voted illegally, Spicer avoided the question.
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