Speed Reads

Trump v facts

CNN's Jake Tapper dares Trump to launch an investigation into alleged massive illegal voting

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that President Trump "does believe" that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in the last election, apparently all for Hillary Clinton, thus costing him the popular vote. Trump's "belief" is "based on studies and evidence people have presented to him," Spicer said. That may be proof enough for some members of Congress, but CNN's Jake Tapper was having none of it.

"It is empirically a stunning allegation for which the White House is providing no evidence," Tapper said Tuesday evening. "And there is a reason they are providing no evidence. There is no evidence ― it is not true." He suggested that Spicer also knows Trump is spouting nonsense, "perhaps because there is zero evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election." There have been scattered instances of voter fraud in U.S. elections, he added, but "if there were even a fraction of the voter fraud that President Trump is alleging, he would be derelict not to order a major investigation," since the necessary "vast conspiracy involving public officials all over the country" would have tainted "races down the ballot, not just the presidential race."

"If President Trump's beliefs are true," Tapper said, "Republican leaders in Congress should be holding hearings and trumpeting this injustice every single day," and the Justice and Homeland Security departments would need to "crack down immediately. Unless, of course, it's not even remotely true, which is, of course, the case."

Spicer actually did cite one study that influenced Trump, a 2012 Pew study on outdated voter registrations, and CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with that study's main author, David Becker, on Tuesday night. Becker said that since his study five years ago, voter rolls have become much more accurate, "and if you look at the numbers, you're more likely to get bitten by a shark who's won the Powerball lottery than, you know, find someone who committed voter fraud." Peter Weber