Trump as­sails re­count ef­fort

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Steve Peoples and Calvin Wood­ward

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. >> Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump claimed with­out ev­i­dence Sun­day that “millions” voted il­le­gally in the na­tional elec­tion, scoff­ing at Hil­lary Clin­ton’s nearly 2 mil­lion edge in the pop­u­lar vote and re­turn­ing to his cam­paign mantra of a rigged race even as he pre­pares to en­ter the White House in less than two months.

Trump and his lieu­tenants as­sailed an ef­fort — now joined by Clin­ton — to re­count votes in up to three bat­tle­ground states, call­ing the push fraud­u­lent, the work of “cry­ba­bies” and, in Trump’s es-

tima­tion, “sad.”

The pres­i­dent-elect went on to cast a shadow over the le­git­i­macy of an elec­tion that he ac­tu­ally won, tweet­ing that “I won the pop­u­lar vote if you deduct the millions of peo­ple who voted il­le­gally.” He pro­vided fur­ther con­tended that if the pop­u­lar vote de­ter­mined the pres­i­dency, “It would have been much eas­ier for me to win” it be­cause he would have al­tered his cam­paign to pile up over­all vote to­tals, not Elec­toral Col­lege votes.

There’s been no in­di­ca­tion of wide­spread vote ma­nip­u­la­tion, il­le­gal vot­ing or hack­ing that ma­te­ri­ally af­fected the out­come one way or the other. It’s that very lack of ev­i­dence that sug­gests Trump is likely to pre­vail

in re­counts.

As Trump worked to fill for­eign pol­icy and na­tional se­cu­rity posts in his Cabi­net, a top ad­viser ex­pressed as­ton­ish­ment that 2012 GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney re­mained un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for sec­re­tary of state af­ter his cam­paign-long ques­tion­ing of Trump’s char­ac­ter, in­tel­lect and in­tegrity.

Trump on Sun­day tweeted part of Clin­ton’s con­ces­sion speech, when she told sup­port­ers they must ac­cept that “Don­ald Trump is go­ing to be our pres­i­dent,” and snip­pets from her de­bate re­marks, when she de­nounced the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for re­fus­ing to say in ad­vance that he would ac­cept the Elec­tion Day ver­dict.

This came on top of his say­ing it was a “scam” that Green Party nom­i­nee Jill Stein was re­vis­it­ing the vote count in Wis­con­sin, Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia. Trump won Wis­con­sin and Penn­syl­va­nia, and as of Wed­nes­day, held a lead of al­most 11,000 votes in Michi­gan, with the re­sults await­ing state cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Mon­day. His Michi­gan mar­gin was a hair’s breadth 0.22 per­cent of the state’s votes.

Clin­ton leads the na­tional pop­u­lar vote by close to 2 mil­lion votes, but Trump won 290 elec­toral votes to Clin­ton’s 232, not count­ing Michi­gan. She could con­ceiv­ably tip the elec­toral bal­ance in the re­mote event that all flipped to her in re­counts.

Trump planned to re­turn to New York on Sun­day af­ter spend­ing Thanks­giv­ing week­end at his West Palm Beach es­tate. His tran­si­tion team said the pres­i­dent-elect had sched­uled a series of meet­ings Mon­day with prospec­tive ad­min­is­tra­tion hires.

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