Trump: re­count a ‘scam’ Ef­fort moves for­ward

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

WEST PALM BEACH: For months Don­ald Trump called the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion “rigged.” The pres­i­den­t­elect has a dif­fer­ent word - “scam” for the re­count ef­fort aimed at re­vis­it­ing the vote in three piv­otal bat­tle­ground states. “The peo­ple have spo­ken and the elec­tion is over,” Trump de­clared Satur­day in his first com­ments about the grow­ing ef­fort to force re­counts in Wis­con­sin, Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia. He added, “We must ac­cept this re­sult and then look to the fu­ture.”

Green Party nom­i­nee Jill Stein’s fight for a re­count got a ma­jor boost Fri­day when Wis­con­sin of­fi­cials an­nounced they were mov­ing for­ward with the first pres­i­den­tial re­count in state his­tory.

The in­com­ing pres­i­dent had been pay­ing lit­tle if any at­ten­tion to Stein’s re­count push, but Demo­cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton forced his hand on Satur­day by for­mally join­ing the ef­fort. Stein, who drew 1 per­cent of the vote na­tion­ally, is rais­ing mil­lions of dol­lars to fund the re­counts. “Be­cause we had not un­cov­ered any ac­tion­able ev­i­dence of hack­ing or out­side at­tempts to al­ter the vot­ing tech­nol­ogy, we had not planned to ex­er­cise this op­tion our­selves,” Clin­ton cam­paign at­tor­ney Marc Elias wrote Satur­day in a blog post. “But now that a re­count has been ini­ti­ated in Wis­con­sin, we in­tend to par­tic­i­pate in or­der to en­sure the process pro­ceeds in a man­ner that is fair to all sides.”

Elias said Clin­ton would take the same ap­proach in Penn­syl­va­nia and Michi­gan if Stein were to fol­low through with re­count re­quests those states, even though that was highly un­likely to change the elec­tion out­come. Clin­ton leads the na­tional pop­u­lar vote by close to 2 mil­lion votes, but Trump won 290 elec­toral votes to Clin­ton’s 232, with Michi­gan still too close to call. It takes 270 to win the pres­i­dency.

Chal­leng­ing US elec­tion sys­tem

Trump, who re­peat­edly chal­lenged the in­tegrity of the US elec­tion sys­tem be­fore his win, called the re­count push “a scam by the Green Party for an elec­tion that has al­ready been con­ceded.”“The re­sults of this elec­tion should be re­spected in­stead of be­ing chal­lenged and abused, which is ex­actly what Jill Stein is do­ing,” he said in the state­ment, which didn’t men­tion Clin­ton’s in­volve­ment.

Trump was ex­pected to re­turn to New York yes­ter­day af­ter spend­ing the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day week­end at his West Palm beach es­tate. His tran­si­tion team said the pres­i­den­t­elect had sched­uled a se­ries of Mon­day meet­ings with prospec­tive ad­min­is­tra­tion hires.

Trump of­fered a one-line tweet Satur­day morn­ing in re­ac­tion to the death of Cuban leader Fidel Cas­tro “Fidel Cas­tro is dead!” - be­fore is­su­ing a more de­tailed state­ment. “While Cuba re­mains a to­tal­i­tar­ian is­land, it is my hope that to­day marks a move away from the hor­rors en­dured for too long, and to­ward a fu­ture in which the won­der­ful Cuban peo­ple fi­nally live in the free­dom they so richly de­serve,” Trump said.

Trump’s Cuba pol­icy was in­con­sis­tent dur­ing the cam­paign. He first sug­gested he sup­ported Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s or­ders loos­en­ing the US trade em­bargo on the is­land. He re­versed him­self less than a month be­fore the elec­tion, how­ever, vow­ing to over­turn Obama’s or­der un­less Cuba meets de­mands in­clud­ing “re­li­gious and po­lit­i­cal free­dom for the Cuban peo­ple and the free­ing of po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers.” —AP

WASHINGTON: Con­struc­tion con­tin­ues on the pres­i­den­tial re­view­ing stand on Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue in front of the White House, Satur­day, Nov 26, 2016. —AP

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