WASHINGTON (WCMH/AP) — A spokesman says President Donald Trump’s belief that there were millions of illegal votes cast in the November election is based on “studies and evidence.”
But spokesman Sean Spicer did not provide examples of that evidence.
Trump first made the false claim during the transition. He reiterated the statement in a meeting Monday night with lawmakers, blaming illegal ballots for his loss of the popular vote.
“The President does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him,” Spicer said.
There has been no evidence to support the claims that there was widespread voter fraud in the election, and a number of studies have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Spicer’s only attempt to support Trump’s assertion was to point a 2008 Pew Research survey that showed a need to update voter registration systems.
Earlier Tuesday, Republican senator Lindsey Graham pleaded with President Trump to stop repeating the claims.
“To continue to suggest that the 2016 election was conducted in a fashion that millions of people voted illegally undermines faith in our democracy,” Graham, of South Carolina, told reporters in a hallway of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in D.C. “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.”
Reporters pressured Spicer about whether Trump will call for an investigation into the voter fraud. Spicer said, “maybe we will … anything’s possible.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.