Republicans and Democrats react to the announcement that Hillary Clinton’s campaign plans to join a vote recount in Wisconsin initiated by former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)
Something has clearly been gnawing at Donald Trump. Sure, he won the electoral vote and therefore the presidency, but he lost the popular vote by 2.2 million votes — and counting. (Counting mostly in California, where Democrat Hillary Clinton won easily and where there are 1.4 million more ballots to tally.) Trump’s victory is marred by that fact: He will be the president, but more people voted against him.
With news that Clinton’s campaign would join the Green Party’s Jill Stein to review ballots in key Midwestern states, Trump went on a Twitter tirade, dismissing Clinton’s decision as hypocritical and that it would end with the same result. (“Sad!” he added.)
That’s probably true. But he couldn’t resist taking the idea one step further in another tweet Sunday afternoon.
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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Clinton didn’t really win the popular vote, he’s arguing, because millions of votes were invalid. This is one in a series of efforts to dismiss Clinton’s popular-vote victory, efforts that have hinged on misreading CNN election results or random tweets underpinned by no actual data.
In fact, this claim that millions of illegal immigrants voted is itself the result of a random tweet.
On Nov. 13, Gregg Phillips, a former Texas Health and Human Services Commission deputy commissioner, tweeted about there being 3 million votes that were cast by noncitizens.
We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens.
— Gregg Phillips (@JumpVote) November 13, 2016
Phillips claims in another tweet that his organization (it’s not clear which organization, but it may be True the Vote) has a database of 180 million voter registrations and he confirms that 3 million of the people in that database who voted are noncitizens. He has been asked to provide evidence for that claim repeatedly, without having done so.
Update: On Monday morning, True the Vote released a statement about Trump’s tweet. It very carefully doesn’t repeat Phillips’ claim, but says instead that the “election integrity” organization “absolutely supports President-elect Trump’s recent comment about the impact of illegal voting.”
Regardless, the story was quickly picked up by the…