President-elect Donald Trump is referring to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s call for a recount in battleground-state Wisconsin as a scam.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount,” Trump said in a statement released by his transition team, according to Politico. "This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing."
Stein is also pursuing recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and has the support and participation of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides,” Marc Erik Elias, Clinton’s general counsel, wrote on Nov. 26 on Medium. “If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well.”
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Elias notes that Trump had a combined margin of victory in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania of 107,000 votes, and recognizes that in Michigan the number of votes separating Clinton and Trump “well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount.”
Trump took to Twitter to express his dislike of Clinton joining the recount proceedings.
“The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems,” he tweeted on Nov. 26.
The morning of Nov. 27, Trump tweeted that the recount will not change the outcome of the election.
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"Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in," he wrote. "Nothing will change."
In Trump’s statement following the announcement of a recount in Michigan, he addressed Clinton once to mention the fact that she conceded the election.
“The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, 'We must accept this result and then look to the future,'” he said, according to Politico.
Trump’s former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, made her own statement to Bloomberg regarding the Clinton campaign joining the Wisconsin recount process, Politico reports:
What a pack of sore losers. After asking Mr. Trump and his team a million times on the trail, "Will HE accept the election results?" it turns out Team Hillary and her new BFF Jill Stein can't accept reality. Rather than adhere to the tradition of graciously conceding and wishing the winner well, they've opted to waste millions of dollars and dismiss the democratic process. The people have spoken. Time to listen up. #YesYourPresident.
If Stein raises $2.5 million, then she plans to file for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Clinton would have to win the recounts in both states and Wisconsin to overturn the election results.
As for the possibility that hackers tampered with election results, a senior official in the President Barack Obama administration told Politico: “We stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people.”
“The federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day,” the official added. “We believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.”