President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he would ask for a “MAJOR INVESTIGATION into voter fraud,” after days of criticism over repeated false claims that millions of people cast illegal ballots in the presidential election.
“I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and … even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!” Trump said.
There is no evidence to support Trump’s repeated assertion that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton because people voted illegally, independent experts and analysts have said.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican official charged with overseeing state voting procedures, said Wednesday that Ohio “conducted a review 4 years ago … and already have a statewide review of 2016 election underway. Easy to vote, hard to cheat.”
Trump’s tweet comes one day after his press secretary, Sean Spicer, defended the president’s false claims that widespread voter fraud had cost him the election. The assertions have gained traction again this week with Trump, as president, repeating them during a closed-door meeting with congressional leaders Monday.
“The president believes what he believes,” Spicer told reporters on Tuesday, when asked what evidence Trump had that millions had cast illegal ballots. “I think he’s stated his concerns of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign. He continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him.”
Reporters asked Spicer why Trump wouldn’t launch an investigation into the alleged voter fraud if he believed it had impacted the election, to which Spicer replied: “Maybe we will.”
But the study that has been cited by Trump and his aides to back up the falsehood has been debunked by the very people who wrote it.
“As I’ve noted before, voting integrity better in this election than ever before. Zero evidence of fraud,” David Becker, the author of a 2012 Pew study on the topic, tweeted on Tuesday.
Becker tweeted in late November that the study “found millions of out of date registration records due to people moving or dying, but found no evidence that voter fraud resulted.”
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