President Trump spent the first 10 minutes of his first official meeting with congressional leaders rehashing the campaign and repeating a claim that has been debunked multiple times — that he lost the popular vote by a wide margin because of millions of illegal votes cast against him, several people who attended the closed-door meeting said Monday night.
As they dined on meatballs and shrimp cocktail in the White House State Dining Room, Trump regaled the bipartisan group with the assertion that between 3 million and 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular vote, The New York Times and The Washington Post report. He lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes, but won 304 electoral votes, and thus the presidency. Several weeks after the election, Trump tweeted that "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," he would have won the popular vote, but officials and several outlets, like ProPublica, have said numerous times there is no evidence that even the tiniest fraction of 1 million people voted illegally.
Those phantom voters aren't the only thing on Trump's mind, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNN. He also remarked on the size of the crowd at the inauguration, Hoyer recalled, telling the congressional leaders, "It was a huge crowd, a magnificent crowd. I haven't seen such a crowd as big as this."
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