Samantha Bee: How the Republican 'lie' of massive voter fraud started

President-elect Donald Trump claims that he would have "won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." So Samantha Bee decided to track the roots of his idea about voter fraud.

"For the record, massive voter fraud is a lie," TBS's "Full Frontal" host said. "But this lie didn't spring Athena-like from Donald's collapsing pumpkin of a head. He's a marketer. His big lies are like his buildings. He doesn't build them. He just slaps his brand on them and tricks the press into promoting them for free."

Several media outlets had already fact-checked Trump's claim that millions of illegal votes were cast during the election and found that it is false. But he's certainly not the first to make the allegation. Bee said that the voter fraud "lie" started decades ago in Ronald Reagan's election in 1980 when Paul Weyrich, the founder of conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, revealed that Republicans won elections when less people voted.

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Comedian Samantha Bee attends the Fast Company Innovation Festival 2016 - Samantha Bee at Skirball Center, NYU on November 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Fast Company)
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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 06: TV personality Samantha Bee accepts the award for 'Outstanding Achievement in News and Information' onstage at the 32nd annual Television Critics Association Awards during the 2016 Television Critics Association Summer Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 6, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 18: Comedian Samantha Bee attends Turner Upfront 2016 arrivals at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Turner)
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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Actress and comedian Samantha Bee attends the Tribeca Daring Women Summit during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios on April 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY during the APRIL 20: Samantha Bee (L) and Allana Harkin attend Tribeca Talks Daring Women Summit during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios on April 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: (L-R) Seth Green, Anderson Cooper, Samantha Bee, Kevin Reilly, President, TBS & TNT & Chief Content Officer, Turner Entertainment, David Levy, President, TBS, Inc., Charles Barkley, Donna Speciale, President, Turner Ad Sales, TBS, Inc., Billy Eichner, John Martin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, TBS, Inc., Eric Dane, and Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide. TBS, Inc. attend the Turner Upfront 2015 at Madison Square Garden on May 13, 2015 in New York City. 25201_002_TW_0473.JPG (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Turner)
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"Look, I get it: That's just politics," Bee said. "Republicans win if they keep people from voting, especially Democrat people."

The show then put up a photo of several old, white men with one black woman. And then Bee asked sarcastically, "But how do you look at a group of voters and pick out the Democrat?"

According to Bee, numerous voter restriction laws were then created across the country, which benefited Republican candidates and targeted minority voters who historically leaned more Democratic. But Republicans couldn't say that's who they were targeting with the voter restriction laws, so they began to create a hysteria around the idea of massive voter fraud, Bee says.

"Remember, all the party wanted was an excuse to pass voter restrictions," Bee said. "But once you put a lie out there, it grows and takes on a life of its own."

Watch Bee state her case about the GOP "lie" of voter fraud below:

NOW WATCH: The last time a losing candidate had a wider popular vote margin than Clinton was in 1876 — here's the bizarre story

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