Spicer defends Trump’s ‘belief’ that there was widespread voter fraud

Zack Ford Editor, Think Progress LGBT

At Tuesday’s White House press conference, questions advanced from the administration’s lie about inauguration turnout to President Trump’s false claim that 3–5 million people voted illegally, which he reiterated in a meeting with congressional leaders on Monday.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump for maintaining this belief, dismissing questions about its truthfulness.

“The president does believe that. He has stated that before,” Spicer responded. “I think he has stated his concerns of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign. And he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have first have presented to him.”

It was pointed out to Spicer that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R), who had been in the meeting with Trump, said earlier on Tuesday that he knew of “no evidence” to support the claim of massive voter fraud. Additional questions pressed Spicer as to what “studies and evidence” Trump was relying on.

Spicer cited a single Pew report that he claims showed that in 2008, 14 percent of people who voted were non-citizens. “There’s other studies that have been presented to him. It’s a belief he maintains.”

The Trump transition team cited the same study back in the fall to defend this claim, and it was thoroughly debunked, including by the researcher who conducted the study.

Spicer was then asked whether, if Trump believes there was such widespread voter fraud, he would launch an investigation.

“Maybe we will,” he replied. “But right now the focus that the President has is putting Americans back to work.”

Though he was dismissive of follow-up questions about the implications of such allegedly widespread voter fraud, Spicer did assure reporters that Trump is “comfortable” with his win and simply made the comment “in passing.”

In 2016, there were only four documented cases of voter fraud, but the myth of a bigger problem is spurring more states to pass laws making it harder for people to vote. Such laws generally suppress the vote of racial minorities, often benefiting Republicans in elections.

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Reposted from Think Progress.

Zack Ford is the editor of ThinkProgress LGBT at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, hailing from the small town of Newport, PA. Prior to joining ThinkProgress, Zack blogged for two years at ZackFordBlogs.com with occasional cross-posts at Pam’s House Blend. He also co-hosts a popular LGBT-issues podcast called Queer and Queerer with activist and performance artist Peterson Toscano. A graduate of Ithaca College (B.M. Music Education) and Iowa State University (M.Ed. Higher Education), Zack is an accomplished pianist with a passion for social justice education. Follow him on Twitter at @ZackFord.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Labor Wins

From the AFL-CIO

On Tuesday, the labor movement drove historic wins for pro-worker candidates like Governor-Elect Andy Beshear in Kentucky and new legislative majorities in Virginia. Not only did union members come out to vote in droves, 270 union member candidates were elected to public office last night and counting. This adds to the total of more than 900 union members elected up and down the ballot in last year’s midterms, a product of the Union Member Candidate Program launched by the AFL-CIO just two years ago. The share of union members who won in the 2018 midterms is two-thirds. The program will continue through 2020 and beyond, electing even more union members to public office. 

“Our efforts recruiting, training and supporting labor candidates have led to the passage of pro-worker legislation from coast to coast and everywhere in between,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work