Speaker of the House Paul Ryan repeated on Tuesday that he has seen “no evidence” of mass voter fraud during the 2016 election.
Ryan’s remarks came just a day after President Donald Trump told Ryan and other Congressional leaders during a private reception at the White House that the reason he lost the popular vote was because 3 million to 5 million “illegals” voted. “He said 3-5 million ‘illegals’ voted so that’s why he lost the popular vote,” said a Democratic aide who was present at the reception. “That’s exactly what he said,” said a second source familiar with the exchange.
“I’ve seen no evidence to that effect. I’ve made that very, very clear,” the Wisconsin Republican told reporters at the Capitol, repeating his position on Trump’s claim of mass voter fraud.
While Trump won the Electoral College vote in November by a clear margin, he lost the popular vote by the widest margin of any presidential election victor in U.S. history, with Hillary Clinton winning almost 3 million more votes than him. Also, though his Electoral College win was decisive, it was by the fourth smallest margin of any presidential race in the past century.
Trump has repeatedly peddled false claims of mass voter fraud and has claimed that he won the Electoral College vote by a “landslide.”
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
The President’s revived claims of voter fraud — which has been debunked universally by state officials and independent fact checkers — come in the aftermath of a weekend where Trump and his team repeatedly attacked the “dishonest” media claiming that they had under-reported inauguration attendance numbers despite the fact that pictures and video clearly showed far lower attendance numbers than President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, and even the Women’s March on Washington which produced multiples more participants than Trump’s inauguration.
Trump’s latest comments have raised the ire of former presidential candidate, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who said “I am begging the President, share with us the information you have about this or please stop saying it.”
“As a matter of fact, I’d like you do more than stop saying it, I’d like you to come forward and say, ‘Having looked at it, I am confident the election was fair and accurate and people who voted voted legally.’ ‘Cause if he doesn’t do that, this is going to undermine his ability to govern this country.”