White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in the daily briefing today that President Donald Trump contention that millions of illegal votes were cast during the past general election is based on unspecified "studies and evidence." Spicer did not offer any examples of evidence for voter fraud.
On the evening of January 22, Trump reiterated to legislators a claim he had made duirng the campaign that illegal balloting led to his loss of the popular vote.
According to Spicer, Trump "continues to maintain that belief." So far, the media have not published evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Spicer pointed out a Pew Research survey from 2008 that indicated that voter registration systems need updating.
In a press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan responded to questions over Trump’s assertions about voter fraud. CBS’ Nancy Cordes asked Ryan, “Did you feel the need to correct him, and does it trouble you that he continues to hold a belief like this that isn’t based in fact?”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has issued a statement that calls on President Trump to provide the information he has to prove that widespread voter fraud took place in 2016. In the statement, Graham wrote:
“To continue to suggest that the 2016 election was conducted in a fashion that millions of people voted illegally undermines faith in our democracy, it's not coming from a candidate for the office, it's coming from the man who holds the office. So 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 to 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."
Since Graham’s comments were reported, the New York Times escalated its criticism of Trump by publishing a headline that said that he has lied. For its part, the Washington Post did some fact-checking on the issue and place Trump on its ‘Recidivism Watch’ for resurrecting the false claim.
Ryan said, “I’ve already commented on that. I’ve seen no evidence to that effect, and I’ve made that very, very clear.”