Donald Trump falsely claims he would have won popular vote if not for fraud
Republican President-elect Donald Trump took to his Twitter account yet again on Sunday to disparage the concept of the popular vote and claim he would have won that, too, "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
"It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4 states instead of the 15 states that I visited," Trump continued. "I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!"
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who lost resoundingly in the electoral college, is the leader in the popular vote by a wide margin. According to NPR, Clinton's lead recently surpassed two million votes, with 64.4 million ballots to Trump's 62.3 million.
Trump provided no immediate evidence that millions of people across the country illegally voted for his opponents. As the Washington Post wrote, the idea resembles far-fetched claims originally posted by former Texas Health and Human Services Commission deputy commissioner Gregg Phillips, who said he had "verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens."
Non-citizens here appears to be simple word choice for undocumented immigrants, one of Trump's favorite targets during his hostile campaign.
Throughout the campaign season, the real estate mogul made rumors of a "rigged" election one of the centerpieces of his rhetoric. As Mic's Emily Cahn wrote, in reality "Voter fraud is so rare that one 2014 study found just 31 votes out of more than a billion, with a 'b,' were credible incidents of fraud" — hardly the millions stated by Trump.
As NBC News noted, Trump has conveniently become a fan of the Electoral College since calling it a "disaster for a democracy" in 2012, when "he incorrectly believed the Electoral College had allowed President Obama to win."
The outburst was apparently motivated by news 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein had successfully raised millions of dollars to demand recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three states which voted for Trump by narrow margins and where some data science experts have alleged suspicious patterns in counties with electronic voting machines.
Earlier in the day, Trump posted "The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore!" He followed up by quoting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's criticism of Trump's refusal to say he would honor the outcome of the elections, saying "nothing will change" as a result of the recounts.