White House says Trump stands by voter fraud belief, ‘millions’ voted illegally
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White House says Trump stands by voter fraud belief, ‘millions’ voted illegally

There is no public evidence of widespread illegal voting in last year’s poll.

Donald Trump Presidency Updated: Jan 30, 2017 18:08 IST
Reuters, Washington
White House,Donald Trump,Sean Spicer
President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with automobile leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan 24.(AP Photo)

President Donald Trump stands by his belief that millions ofpeople voted illegally in the US election, the White House said on Tuesday, despite widespread evidence to the contrary.

“The president does believe that,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters.

State officials in charge of the Nov 8 election have said they found no evidence of widespread voter fraud and there is no history of it in US elections. Even House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the most senior Republican in Congress, said he had seen no evidence to back up Trump’s claims.

Republican Trump won the Electoral College that decides the presidency and gives smaller states more clout in the outcome, but he lost the popular vote to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by about 2.9 million.

Trump has repeatedly said he would have won the popular vote, too, but for voter fraud. He has never substantiated his claim.

The comments were the latest in a series of distractions in the opening days of the Trump administration that run the risk of overshadowing his legislative goals and efforts to advance policy proposals.

On Saturday, the day after his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, Trump complained about media coverage of the crowds that attended his swearing-in ceremony and described journalistsas “among the most dishonest people on Earth.”

First Published: Jan 25, 2017 10:23 IST