In tweets on Wednesday morning, Trump signaled his intention to marshal federal resources to look for proof of his claims.
“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),” he wrote in a series of tweets. “Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!”
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump’s unsubstantiated declaration that millions of votes were cast illegally in last year’s election.
“The President does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him,” Spicer said.
The National Association of Secretaries of State on Tuesday echoed their previous confidence in the “systemic integrity of our election process as a bipartisan group.”
In October, the organization released a statement to “assure Americans that our process is fairly administrated and well-secured, with built-in structural safeguards to ensure honest outcomes and accurate results.”
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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ran against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, wasted no time in firing back.
“Trump is telling Republicans to accelerate voter suppression, to make it harder for the poor, young, elderly and people of color to vote,” he wrote on Twitter in response to Trump’s tweets. “The great political crisis we face is not voter fraud, which barely exists. It’s voter suppression and the denial of voting rights.”
Sanders continued, “Our job is to fight back, and do everything we can to protect American democracy from cowardly Republican governors and legislators.”
The 70-year-old business mogul also brought up the issue at a dinner with top Republicans and Democrats in Congress on Monday, CNN reports.
“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” he tweeted in late November.
He followed up that tweets by claiming – again, despite evidence to the contrary – that there was “serious voter fraud” in Virginia, New Hampshire and California — all of which were called for Clinton.