Twitter troll Trump makes baseless claim of massive voter fraud to explain his popular vote loss

Last week, the New York Magazine reported that a team of computer scientists and lawyers had reported to the Clinton campaign that “they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked.”

Ballot-boxThe story immediately went viral. The ever-present conspiracy theorists jumped all over it.

University of Michigan computer science professor J. Alex Halderman, who was quoted in the NY Mag piece, stated in a post at Medium that the reporter had gotten the point of the analysis wrong, along with some of the numbers. He noted that the important point is that all elections should be audited, and not only if you have statistics suggesting that something might be fishy.

Since then, Jill Stein and the Green Party requested a recount in Wisconsin, which was granted.  Wisconsin Agrees To Presidential Vote Recount At Third-Party Candidates’ Requests. That request was supported by the Clinton campaign, for the purposes of an audit of the vote in addition to the canvass “to ensure accuracy and public confidence in the election.” Listening and Responding To Calls for an Audit and Recount.

The Green Party has since raised funds for a recount in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Jill Stein tries to force recount in Pennsylvania. Those recounts have not yet been granted, and the Green Party is threatening lawsuits over the ground rules of the recount(s) which could delay the process.

There is a federal “safe harbor” deadline of December 13 to certify electoral votes if the recount(s) are not completed by then.

There is virtually no chance that the election results will be reversed by a recount. Recounts Rarely Reverse Election Results. This process is about auditing the election to test the experts’ report that there is “evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked.”

The egomaniacal Twitter troll Trump, who sought to undermine American’s confidence in the electoral process this year by first asserting that the GOP primaries were rigged, and then spent months asserting that the general election is rigged if he does not win, now seeks to further delegitimize and undermine the electoral process with unfounded claims unsupported by any evidence to explain his humiliating popular vote loss to Hillary Clinton by over 2 million votes. Trump Claims, With No Evidence, That ‘Millions of People’ Voted Illegally:

President-elect Donald J. Trump said on Sunday that he had fallen short in the popular vote in the general election only because millions of people had voted illegally, leveling the baseless claim as part of a daylong storm of Twitter posts voicing anger about a three-state recount push.

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The series of posts came one day after Hillary Clinton’s campaign said it would participate in a recount effort being undertaken in Wisconsin, and potentially in similar pushes in Michigan and Pennsylvania, by Jill Stein, who was the Green Party candidate.

* * *

Claims of wide-scale voter fraud have been advanced for years by Republicans, though virtually no evidence of such improprieties has been discovered — especially on the scale of “millions” that Mr. Trump claimed.

Late on Sunday, again without providing evidence, he referred in a Twitter post to “serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California.”

[State election officials in these states have rebutted Trump’s unsubstantiated claims. Election officials in 3 states rebut Trump’s claims of fraud.]

A day earlier, Mr. Trump’s transition team ridiculed the idea that recounts were needed. “This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded,” it said in a statement, “and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused.”

That message runs counter to the one Mr. Trump sent on Sunday with his fraud claims — if millions of people voted illegally, presumably officials across the country would want to pursue large-scale ballot recounts and fraud investigations.

An excellent point followed up on by the Post’s Aaron Blake. Donald Trump is making a strong case for a recount of his own 2016 election win:

Trump was doing this to make the case that he didn’t actually lose the popular vote, which has become a Democratic rallying cry following Clinton’s loss. It’s clearly a sore spot for Trump.

But the president-elect is also, unwittingly and amazingly, calling into question the results of an election that he won nearly three weeks ago. The logical extension of his argument is that all results should not be trusted. In effect, Trump is lending credence to the very same recount effort that he criticized as superfluous.

* * *

[I]f the system was susceptible to the kind of pro-Clinton fraud that Trump is alleging, who is to say that it wasn’t also susceptible to manipulation that might have benefited Trump? Trump’s argument is that our electoral system was vulnerable to all kinds of shenanigans that could have changed the results in specific states. Why not shenanigans instigated by Russia, which experts say aided Trump during the campaign with fake-news propaganda? Or something else? There is also no evidence of this, but apparently evidence is not required for our next president to make a charge.

Trump is alleging that these shenanigans (yes, I said it again) accrued to Clinton’s benefit, but if our system has so many holes in it, why couldn’t those holes have helped Trump in the states that mattered? If illegal immigrants can vote and there was real voter fraud in states such as California, New Hampshire and Virginia, why couldn’t these things have happened in circumstances and places that didn’t hurt Trump? Why not in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Trump won the presidency by a margin of about a point or less? If the system is that shoddy, it’s probably shoddy everywhere.

* * *

Trump is saying that something happened — on a large scale. He’s basing this on dubious Internet sources [e.g., Alex Jones], but he’s raising doubts about results of an election that made him the president-elect. It’s hard to argue, from that point, that it’s not worth examining just how many real irregularities there are and whether they all just happened to accrue to Clinton’s benefit. This is the president-elect and the soon-to-be leader of the free world, after all, and his words are supposed to carry weight.

This is just Trump being Trump, of course. He is the president-elect, yes, but he’s also a bona fide conspiracy theorist. (Remember how Ted Cruz’s dad might have been involved in JFK’s assassination?) We can no longer dismiss his fomenting of these baseless theories as some political ploy; it’s who he is. And he’s willing to call into question anything that doesn’t show him to be the clear winner. Given that he will lose the popular vote by as much as two full points, he’s in desperate search of an excuse for this fact.

But in doing so, he’s also calling into question his win. He can’t have it both ways, and he’s letting his pride yuuuge ego get the better of him.

Way to go, America! You put an egomaniacal Twitter troll alt-right conspiracy theorist in the White House. No one should sleep safe at night. This is not going to turn out well.

UPDATE: The Washington Post’s conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin argues that there is no more important story than the continuous stream of evidence of the president-elect’s instability. The media cannot ignore evidence of Trump’s instability — our enemies won’t.

16 responses to “Twitter troll Trump makes baseless claim of massive voter fraud to explain his popular vote loss

  1. John Huppenthal

    You all live in an alternative reality where California has 12 U.S. Senators, Clinton is president and the stock market is 5 trillion lower.

    • I live in a state where 100 latino kids turn voting age every day. you can ask soon to be ex sheriff joe about that! and they have photo id. There will be 100,000 minorities turning 18 this month and every month and increasing. an audit of voting in wi. much. pa is what is needed. who would of thought the strong woman coming out of this election would be jill stein why hillary hides under a rock!

      • There is a poster named Captain Arizona who has been making the same predictions for years and we still haven’t seen any effects from the population increase. Logic would indicate that you and the Captain should be correct, but there seems to be some sort of disconnect between the increasing Latino population and their voting patterns. Why do you suppose that is?

        • Once again, just going to speculate, but maybe it’s because as Latino/as assimilate, some of them stop caring less about concerns with immigration and policy toward Latin America, and more about jobs and the economy (and similar pocketbook issues).

          With that said, the backlash against Arpaio is probably partially against racial and ethnic profiling (still a concern), it may also partially reflect on the astronomical sums of money he has wasted at Maricopa Taxpayers’ expense with stupid policies getting him in hot water with the DoJ and others.

          Then again, I am not Latino or Hispanic, so this is just purely me speculating on a possible explanation with the benefit of hindsight.

          • Everything you said makes sense to me. And I have admit, the ousting of Arpaio was – or at least appeared to be – the direct result of Latinos banding together for a purpose.

  2. “There is virtually no chance that the election results will be reversed by a recount.

    But deep in thier dark litle hearts, thats the hope, isn’t it? If there genuinely was no chance, they wouldn’t bother to waste the money.

    “they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked.”

    Isn’t it coincidental that it happen to be the three states that made the difference in Hillary NOT being elected. And, of course, everyone ignored the other computer experts who said it was virtually impossible the results were manipulated. Please don’t pretend your skirts are clean as the angels and you aren’t trying to overturn the election. No one is being fooled and you don’t about the results at all except to elect Hillary.

    “Trump is alleging that these shenanigans (yes, I said it again) accrued to Clinton’s benefit, but if our system has so many holes in it, why couldn’t those holes have helped Trump in the states that mattered?”

    Oh, how clever!! Trump made a fool of himself saying that so let’s make fools of ourselves by claiming the same thing. It’s called perverted logic. It flies in the face of Hillary’s declaration that anyone who attacks the election system is an enemy of democracy during the debates. She must have gone on for three minutes chiding Trump (correctly) for his refusing to acnowledge he would accept the election results if she won. And don’t tell me Hillary isn’t involved…she is in this up to her eye balls.

    “Way to go, America! You put an egomaniacal Twitter troll alt-right conspiracy theorist in the White House. No one should sleep safe at night. This is not going to turn out well.”

    AzBM, I told you that you were going love having Trump as President. You can doomsay to hearts content.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      “And, of course, everyone ignored the other computer experts who said it was virtually impossible the results were manipulated.”

      There are no “computer experts” saying that.

      “Computer experts” have been sounding the alarm about any ballot cast anywhere near a computer since 2000.

      If you ask if Russia “hacked” the election, probably not, if you ask were the results manipulated, a “computer expert” would never bet against it.

      Signed,
      Your Friendly Neighborhood “Computer Expert”

      • “There are no “computer experts” saying that.”

        (Sigh) While you were away on your PTO this matter was first discussed on these pages. The poster who introduced the subject included a connection to the original article. That article discussed the so called possibility of tampering. The article also included other computer experts from the same Universities who said it was NOT likely to have happened. I did not make that up, nor did I discuss it. it was part of the introduction of the subject to this blog site.

  3. Sen. John Kavanagh

    I love the way Trump keeps pulling your strings. It’s almost as good as his decisive and non-humiliating electoral college win.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Trump isn’t the main problem, it’s having the White House, Senate, and Congress, all under Republican rule.

      The last two times that happened, 1928 and 2002, they said “we’ll cut taxes and regulations”, and both times it turned out great, right?

      • “The last two times that happened, 1928 and 2002, they said “we’ll cut taxes and regulations””

        You don’t actually blame Republicans for the Great Depression, do you? How do you explain the same great depression hitting the entire world at the same time? Republicans, again?

        And in 2002, don’t you think the 9/11 attacks might have had an effect on the Country at least a little bit? Of are you one of those people who blames Bush for the 9/11 attacks?

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Both Hoover’s Great Depression and Bush’s Great Recession started in the US first, then spread worldwide. They did not occur everywhere at once like some synchronized swimming event.

          And dude, seriously, you are not blaming 9/11 for the housing bubble!

          Because 9/11 was in 2001. It was six years later when the economy finally went south.

          Was Bin Laden brokering subprime mortgages? Was the Taliban trading credit default swaps?

          Did Saddam Hussein repeal Glass-Steagal?

          Bush inherited a budget surplus and a thriving economy.

          Sound familiar? Because Trump is getting an economy in even better shape, and the GOP control everything.

          History will repeat itself.

          Hoover. Bush. Trump.

          You don’t have much time before history will repeat itself, so get started on your It’s Obama’s fault speech now.

          • “…Hoover’s Great Depression…started in the US first, then spread worldwide.”

            It may have started in the US, but the world was teetering on the edge of a great depression without us. We just happened to be the first. We weren’t that much of an economic power house in 1929.

            “Did Saddam Hussein repeal Glass-Steagal?”

            Bank regulators interpreted the Glass-Steagel Act as allowing banks to make investments starting in the early 1960s. In 1999, Congress passed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, which repealed the two provisions restricting affiliations between banks and securities firms. Bush had nothing to with it.

            “Trump is getting an economy in even better shape…”

            Only in your imagination. There are numerous economic factors that demonstrate the, as you call it, “thriving” economy has lagged far behind Presidents Reagan and Clinton terms of job growth, consumer confidence, nonfarm payrolls, median housing income, and labor force participation. In fact, Bush’s and Obama’s performance runs pretty much neck and neck when economic charts are compared. Interestingly, the one thing that has done well under Obama is the S&P 500. (Source: The Wall Street Journal – January 12, 2016)

            “Because 9/11 was in 2001. It was six years later when the economy finally went south.”

            It was amazing that the economy didn’t go south almost immediately after a hit like 9/11. Bush did a commendable job keeping us looking forward and our spirits up. If nothing else he gave you liberals a lot to bitch and moan about, which we all know is what makes you happy.

            “Was Bin Laden brokering subprime mortgages? Was the Taliban trading credit default swaps?

            No. Neither was the White House.

            Shall we talk some reality here? No President really has much control over the economy. They generally inherit things in motion that affect what happens during their terms of office. We hold Presidents accountable for what happens but it is really stupid and childish to do so. The economy is bigger and far more complex than one man can possibly control, no matter how powerful we think he might be.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I feel that you missed the point. The GOP controls the White House, Senate, and Congress. The last two times that happened, bad things followed.

            I wasn’t talking about just the President.

            You may spin things any way you want, I prefer to look to history, which repeats, because people always thing they’re more clever than the folks that went before them.

            Expect a boom, then a record breaking bust.

            We’ll see.

            We’ll see.

    • Frances Perkins

      The truth is the Repubs cannot govern. They are good at what they are against. And real bad at doing anything that benefits the country, other than rich Wall Streeters, or billionaire Texas or Kansas resource users, or a casino moguls who loves Israel more than the USA. Eight years of Bush Jr. proved that. Same bunch now.