Anecdote reveals why Trump believes claims of voter fraud cost him the popular vote



President Donald Trump offered a bizarre anecdote to try to support false claims that he lost the national popular vote in the US election because of voter fraud.

The New York Times published the accounts of three White House staffers who told the newspaper that Trump, during a meeting with lawmakers on Monday, retold a story the president claimed was shared with him by champion golfer Bernhard Langer.

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According to The Times, which said the three White House staffers were in the room when Trump told the story, Trump claimed that Langer was a supporter who tried to cast a ballot in Florida on Election Day. Trump, the newspaper reported, said Langer was told he could not vote, while two other people "who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote," were able to cast provisional ballots.

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As The Times describes it, Trump speculated that the two people who were allowed to vote looked like they may have come from Latin American countries.

The Times' Glenn Thrush reported that a phone call with Langer's daughter revealed that the anecdote Trump told was inaccurate. According to Langer's daughter, the story was not about Langer, who is a German citizen and unable to vote in the US, but about a friend of the golfer.

"He is not a friend of President Trump's," the daughter said of her father according to The Times. "I don't know why he would talk about him," she added.

Trump was apparently using that anecdote to support his long-debunked claims of voter fraud, which he believes was perpetrated by people living in the US illegally. The claims have been widely condemned by congressional leaders from both parties, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump's own attorneys have said there is no evidence of fraud in the November election.

The president has persisted in his belief that the millions of people who did not cast ballots for him must have voted illegally.

Trump asserted on Wednesday that he would order a voter-fraud investigation — the same day that he announced measures to begin work on a wall at the US-Mexico border, and limit funds to US cities that shelter people living in the US illegally.

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A gap in the U.S.-Mexico border fence is seen outside Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Men talk on a street in the town of Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol officer stands at a border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Highway 82 towards Douglas, Arizona is seen near Sonoita, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Clouds float above the border towns of Nogales, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A sign warning drivers that firearms and ammunition are prohibited in Mexico is seen at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Buildings in Nogales, Mexico (R) are separated by a border fence from Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A worker makes his way through the water after setting up an irrigation system on an agricultural field, near Calexico, California, U.S. October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A church at the Museum of History in Granite is seen in Felicity, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man drives a tractor plowing a field at sunrise near Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Residential homes are seen next to the fence that borders Mexico, in Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians wait to cross the street in Calexico, California, Unites States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The town of Bisbee is seen in Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians make their way into the the United States from Mexico at the pedestrian border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A roadside collection of alien dolls and toy UFO saucers is seen next to a roadside residence neat Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A road abruptly ends next to a sign for a cattle ranch near Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A boy rides an all-terrain vehicle next Mexican border along the Buttercup San Dunes in California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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A man rides a tricycle past a grocery store in a town that borders Mexico, in San Luis Butter, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol truck drives past the fence that marks the border between U.S. and Mexico, in Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A truck drives west towards California along highway 8 near Gila Bend, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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A residential home is seen in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
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The president also moved to prevent immigrants from Muslim-majority Middle Eastern and African countries like Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Yemen from the entering the US. Those moves sparked large protests on Wednesday night.

NOW WATCH: Watch reporters grill the White House press secretary over Trump's false claims that millions voted illegally

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