U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, pictured at Trump International Gold Club in New Jersey in June, suggested on Twitter Sunday that without all of the "illegal" votes, he might have won a landslide in the popular vote. File photo by Peter Foley/Pool/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Donald Trump on Sunday lashed out at efforts to recount votes in three states, saying he would have won the popular vote in a landslide if not for "illegal voters," though he offered no evidence of the alleged fraud.
His comments came after Green Party candidate Jill Stein requested the recount, and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign agreed to participate. The day before Thanksgiving, Clinton's lead over the president-elect in the popular vote grew to more than 2 million.
Trump responded to the widening gap in the popular vote and a movement for recounts in three key states because of alleged irregularities in their elections, suggesting on Twitter that he only lost the popular vote because millions of people voted for Clinton illegally.
"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide," Trump tweeted, "I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
Trump beat Clinton in the Electoral College 306 to 232, giving him the White House. Since election night, though, Clinton's lead in the popular vote has grown, to 2.1 million as of Thanksgiving. The widening lead has led some to call for abolishing the Electoral College, with Sen. Barbara Boxer introducing a bill to start the process of changing the Constitution.
Sound as Trump's win appears to be in the Electoral College, theories have abounded about fraud or other ballot issues in three key states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Trump narrowly beat Clinton in the states by counts of 23,000, 70,000 and 10,000, all relatively close margins.
The drumbeat to request recalls in all three states in the last week has picked up as Stein raised more than $5.3 million within days to fund recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Computer experts said last week they believe voting machines may have been tampered with and, based on large Clinton leads in all three states that shrunk and then disappeared over the course of election night, something seems off to them.
Trump lashed out on Twitter over the possible recounts, which he called a scam, and said he believed there is "serious voter fraud" in Virginia, New Hampshire and California, though that has not been reported there.
"This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded," Trump's transition team said in a statement, "and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused."