Trump says ‘mil­lions’ voted il­le­gally, slams re­count

The Myanmar Times - - World -

DON­ALD Trump has made un­sub­stan­ti­ated claims of se­ri­ous US voter fraud and said “mil­lions of peo­ple” had cast their bal­lots il­le­gally, of­fer­ing no ev­i­dence for the as­ser­tions he put forth on Twit­ter.

Mr Trump’s shock path to the White House saw him fall short of his Demo­cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton in the pop­u­lar vote – she car­ried that by 2.2 mil­lion bal­lots – but win the all-im­por­tant Elec­toral Col­lege count, which de­cides the US pres­i­dency.

The Repub­li­can bil­lion­aire’s lat­est state­ments, in which he said he would have won the pop­u­lar vote were it not for the “mil­lions of peo­ple who voted il­le­gally,” came as steps are be­ing taken to­wards re­count­ing votes in the state of Wis­con­sin, which Mr Trump won.

Mr Trump and his aides have pushed back hard against that re­count, with the pres­i­dent-elect let­ting loose a se­ries of tweets in which he quoted Ms Clin­ton about the need to re­spect the elec­toral process.

But by the end of the day, Mr Trump was al­leg­ing on Twit­ter that, “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.”

Although Mr Trump had warned be­fore the elec­tion that the re­sult might be “rigged,” he had of­fered no such com­plaint af­ter his un­ex­pected Novem­ber 8 vic­tory – un­til now.

Back in New York on Novem­ber 27 af­ter spend­ing the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day at his Florida Mar-a-Lago re­sort with his fam­ily, Mr Trump again took to Twit­ter, al­leg­ing that voter fraud had oc­curred in sev­eral states.

“Se­ri­ous voter fraud in Vir­ginia, New Hamp­shire and Cal­i­for­nia – so why isn’t the me­dia re­port­ing on this? Se­ri­ous bias – big prob­lem!” Mr Trump posted.

Mr Trump and his aides have of­fered no ev­i­dence con­cern­ing the claims, nor did Mr Trump ex­plain why he would op­pose the nascent Wis­con­sin re­count if il­le­gal vot­ing was such a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

While the re­count was re­quested by Green Party can­di­date Jill Stein, who re­ceived a minute frac­tion of the to­tal vote in Wis­con­sin, Ms Clin­ton’s cam­paign has said it would join the process de­spite hav­ing seen no ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties so far.

Mr Trump’s top aide Kellyanne Con­way, in the mid­dle of the tur­bu­lence, ap­peared to at least hint that if the Clin­ton team pushes too hard on the Wis­con­sin re­count, the pres­i­den­t­elect might re­think his vow not to seek Ms Clin­ton’s pros­e­cu­tion for us­ing a pri­vate email server when she was sec­re­tary of state.

Marc Erik Elias, an elec­tion lawyer for the Demo­cratic can­di­date, said in a post on Medium.com that the cam­paign would also par­tic­i­pate in re­counts in Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia if they are ar­ranged.

Most elec­tion ex­perts see al­most no chance the elec­tion out­come could be re­versed – Ms Clin­ton trails in each state by sev­eral thou­sand votes.

The dis­pute con­tin­ued to roil what has al­ready been a rough tran­si­tion pe­riod, as se­ri­ous signs of in­ter­nal dis­cord over cab­i­net picks again emerged on Novem­ber 27.

The dis­cord cen­tres around the po­si­tion of sec­re­tary of state, with some in the Trump camp sup­port­ing Mitt Rom­ney, the 2012 Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, as a more main­stream choice while others favour the more di­vi­sive for­mer New York mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani. –

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