UPDATE: 4 p.m. EST — President-elect Donald Trump was back on Twitter Sunday afternoon, making a case for having won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
If not for the Electoral College taking precedence over the popular vote, Trump said he would have campaigned in more states.
UPDATE: 2:05 p.m. EST — David Cobb, Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign manager, told the Hill the recount effort is not so much about overturning the election as it is about “securing confidence” in the election system. In 2004, the year he was the party’s standard-bearer, a successful challenge to the DRE electronic voting machines led to the conviction of one election official. The machines also were banned in California as a result.
“We do not have any knowledge that a hack took place, but if it can be done, we want to investigate it to see if it was done and if the systems in these states were hacked, to what extent did they alter the results in these states,” Cobb told The Hill.
President-elect Donald Trump Sunday unleashed a bitter series of tweets, attacking the effort to recount the votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein initiated the effort last week, saying there was the possibility of irregularities in the three states, components of the “blue wall” that had been expected to deliver the presidency to Clinton.
Though no evidence of vote fraud or tampering has been presented since the election, federal officials said during the campaign there was evidence hackers tried to break into state and local voter databases. Russia also has hinted it was behind the email leaks that plagued Democrats since their convention in Cleveland in July.
Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society have said they found evidence the results in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania may have been hacked and contacted the Clinton campaign with their suspicions.
Unofficial results indicate though Clinton won nearly 2 million more votes than Trump, the real estate mogul secured an Electoral College margin of 306 votes to 232. If results in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan are overturned, the former secretary of state would have the electoral margin. Forty-six electoral votes are at stake. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to secure the presidency.
Trump was roundly criticized in a debate with Clinton during the campaign in which he refused to say whether he would abide by the results of the election.
Shortly before midnight, Trump took Democrats to task for the recount effort and accused the Green Party of ginning up “scam” to fill their coffers.
He then started in on Clinton, ignoring that in 2000, Republican George W. Bush also conceded to Democrat Al Gore but then initiated a recount in Florida that ultimately handed the White House to the GOP.
Trump recalled Clinton’s reaction to his debate answer of “we’ll see” when asked if he’d accept the election results, and a later quip in which he said he would abide by the results if he won.
Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows, calling Clinton a hypocritical “charade” for participating in the recount effort.
“Why in the world can’t the Democrats accept the election results?” Conway asked on ABC’s “This Week,” characterizing the effort as “quite small” minded and an affront to President Barack Obama, who has less than two months left on his presidency.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., shrugged off the re-examination, saying it won’t change the outcome.
“It’s a legal right. It’s not a big deal,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”