Trump Raises Vote Fraud, But Drops Past Claim of Millions

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump spoke Wednesday at the first public hearing of his vote fraud commission and raised the possibility that substantial voter fraud had occurred in the 2016 election, but he did not repeat past claims that millions of illegal ballots were cast.

“This issue is very important to me because throughout the campaign, and even after, people would come up to me and express their concerns about voter inconsistencies and irregularities, which they saw,” Trump said. “In some cases, having to do with very large numbers of people in certain states.”

But Trump did not repeat his past claims, made without any evidence, that “millions” of people had voted in the election illegally, costing him the popular vote against Hillary Clinton, who topped him by about 3 million votes nationwide.

The president also questioned why certain states were refusing to cooperate fully with the commission’s requests for voter information, hinting that those states might be hiding something.

“If any state does not want to share the information, one has to wonder what they’re worried about,” Trump said. “What are they worried about? There’s something, there always is.”

However, Vice President Mike Pence, the commission chair, said the panel had “no preconceived notions” or “pre-ordained results.”

“We’re fact-finders,” said Pence, who made no mention of voter fraud during his brief remarks.




Image: President Donald Trump speaks alongside Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, left, and Vice President Mike Pence

President Donald Trump speaks alongside Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, left, and Vice President Mike Pence during the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House in Washington on July 19, 2017.