US President Donald Trump has claimed that he would have won the popular vote if it were not for the millions of “illegal” immigrants who voted for his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Trump made the claim in a private meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders at the White House on Monday night.
“He said 3-5 million ‘illegals’ voted so that’s why he lost popular vote,” said a Democratic aide, who was present at the meeting. “That’s exactly what he said,” a second source familiar with the exchange confirmed. The Republican billionaire, who was inaugurated on Friday, scored about 3 million votes less than Clinton in their November 8 face-off. However, he was able to seal the victory by winning the Electoral College vote, 304-227.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy alluded to the issue, saying that Trump discussed “the different Electoral College, popular vote” with the lawmakers. Trump had made similar claims in the past, writing in a late November tweet that he would have won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” The outcome of the recent presidential vote has been questioned by both sides of the aisle, with Democrats blaming their defeat on foreign influence and Republicans raising the possibility of voter fraud.
The dispute ran so deep that defeated Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed recount requests in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The recount in Wisconsin confirmed Trump’s victory and did not change Stein’s standing at the bottom. Her bid for the recount of 5 million ballots in Michigan was blocked by a court. She later dropped her bid in Pennsylvania.
This is while, Trump warned of voter fraud throughout the presidential campaign, telling his supporters that the election had been “rigged” against him and he would only accept the results if he came out as the winner. On Election Day, Trump complained that the media were not covering “serious voter fraud” in California, New Hampshire and Virginia.