President Donald Trump has turned out to be no different than candidate Donald Trump, after repeating his debunked lie that he lost the popular vote to Secretary Hillary Clinton because of millions of illegal votes.
“The Washington Post reports that during a closed-door meeting with congressional leaders on Monday night, Trump insisted that he only lost the popular vote because between 3 million and 5 million people voted illegally,” notes NY Mag. Trump’s lie has been refuted numerous times, but that hasn’t stopped him from bitterly rehashing it after being denied a popular vote mandate.
This kind of blatant lying is becoming a disturbing part of the first days of the new administration, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer laughably claiming that the audience for Trump’s inauguration “was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period — both in person and around the globe,” despite things called photos and video proving otherwise.
“He is lying,” media watchdog Media Matters said in simpler response to Spicer, one that was echoed in numerous major news headlines regarding Trump’s popular vote lie. Some selections are below.
“Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers” in the New York Times:
President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, a return to his obsession with the election’s results even as he seeks support for his legislative agenda.
The claim, which he has made before on Twitter, has been judged untrue by numerous fact-checkers. The new president’s willingness to bring it up at a White House reception in the State Dining Room is an indication that he continues to dwell on the implications of his popular vote loss even after assuming power.
Trump has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud caused him to lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, even while he clinched the presidency with an electoral college victory.
The rationale for the president’s brazen lying is easy to understand. Americans were given a choice between two major-party candidates; Trump lost by nearly 3 million votes; and he lacks the tools necessary to deal with the implications of the results.
As a result, the president apparently finds it necessary to keep reality at arm’s length, because the truth hurts his feelings. It leads him to embrace a comforting, albeit ridiculous, lie – or to use the Trump White House’s preferred parlance, alternative facts.
That said, this is the sort of lie that should give pause to all Americans, including Trump’s most ardent Republican followers.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that he lost the popular vote in November’s election because of voter fraud. There is no evidence of this, and none that millions of undocumented immigrants voted for Clinton. It’s a fixation for Trump, who won the election because of Electoral College votes, but has had trouble accepting that Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.8 million.
The evidence that President Trump is exactly the same as candidate Trump just keeps piling up. After having his press secretary falsely insist that his inauguration crowd was bigger than Obama’s, now Trump himself is repeating a lie about why he lost the popular vote — and displaying his knack for dragging out an unflattering story into multiple news cycles.
Top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway made it clear that this administration will be at war with reality, following her widely-mocked “alternative facts” quip in defense of Spicer. It’ll take forceful reporting from media — that includes calling a lie a lie rather than using milder terms like “falsehood” — in order to set the record straight.
Trump says 3-5 MM illegals cost him the popular vote. DOJ works for him. Why doesn’t he order investigation? Oh, I know. B/c It. Is. A. Lie.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) January 24, 2017