Trump vows ‘major investigation’ into voter fraud conspiracy theory

On Wednesday morning President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he will be asking for an investigation into voter fraud. 

“I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!” the president wrote on Twitter.

This announcement comes months after Trump first claimed he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 election had it not been for the “millions of people who voted illegally,” a claim that has since been debunked, for which Trump has refused to provide concrete evidence. 

Trump repeated this claim his first presidential meeting with Congress on Monday, stating that somewhere between 3 to 5 million undocumented immigrants voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer explained the president’s reasoning during a briefing, saying, “I think he has stated his—voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign. And he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have presented to him.”

Spicer then referenced a 2008 Pew Research study on out-of-date voter records, although the study in question was released in 2012 and the researchers stated that there was no evidence of these records leading to voter fraud.

Further, Spicer dismissed a question about investigating the fraud, saying that Trump is comfortable with his win and that the claim just came up in passing, then backtracked when pushed on the question, saying, “Maybe we will [investigate.]”

Trump’s tweets regarding voter fraud investigations came after CNN broadcasted interviews with guests and asked them why Trump wasn’t investigating such substantial claims. The president’s tweets often appear to be in response to what he watches on cable news.

While key Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wisc.) and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham have expressed their disapproval of the president repeating these claims, Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King told MSNBC that by his own calculations based off of sample data from certain counties in Virginia, it’s “plausible” that 2.4 million undocumented immigrants voted. 

“Well, sometimes the fact checkers have a political agenda. And I don’t want to have a whole term about alternative facts,” King said. “But I can say, I read those facts from the sample counties and I thought, huh, I wonder what that could mean for America. Got out my calculator, ran the numbers, I came to 2.4.” He added: “I just believe that 2.4 million is a plausible number based off of an extrapolation.”

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.