On Jan 24, White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated President Donald Trump's assertion that millions of people fraudulently voted in the 2016 presidential election. Spicer did not cite sources but did signal that the new presidential administration may launch an investigation into voter fraud.
"The President does believe that," Spicer said when asked about reports that Trump said the previous day that a high number of illegal voters cast their ballots, according to CNN. "I think he's stated that before and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him."
Spicer said that Trump "has believed that for a while based on studies and information he has" but did not specify on the nature of that evidence.
Some conservative bloggers and websites have reported that an estimated three million votes were cast illegally, although fact-checker websites such as Snopes and PolitiFact have researched these claims and have found no evidence or reports to support the noncitizen voting statistics. The figure most commonly referenced comes from tweets by Gregg Phillips, the founder of a voter fraud reporting app.
Phillips cited a "completed analysis of [a] database of 180 million voter registrations" but did not provide any additional information.
Other websites have cited a report from InfoWars, although the report itself cites Phillips' tweets as the only evidence. It is unclear whether or not these figures are the "evidence" to which Trump and Spicer referred.
Numerous studies, including one by experts at The Brennan Center for Justice, have found instances of voter fraud to be non-existent and well under .01 percent, notes CNN.
"Given this tiny incident rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report noted, that an American will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls," reads the report, according to CNN.
Trump's lawyers came to similar conclusions amid calls for a vote recount following his presidential win.
"All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake," the lawyers wrote in a filing at the time.
Nonetheless, Spicer said that Trump might pursue ways to cut back on voting fraud. When asked if Trump would launch an investigation into it, Spicer responded, "Maybe we will."