President Trump just can’t seem to give up on an idea that he may have actually won the popular vote in 2016, despite the fact that his assertion has been shown to be false.
“In many places, like California, the same person votes many times,” said Trump during an event in West Virginia Thursday afternoon. “You’ve probably heard about that. They always like to say, ‘Oh, that’s a conspiracy theory.’ It’s not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people.”
In fact, the claim is a conspiracy theory. Since he lost the popular vote in the November 2016 election, Trump has claimed that millions of people voted illegally to try and explain why Hillary Clinton received nearly 3 million more votes than him. There is no evidence historically to support Trump’s assertion and multiple studies have found little evidence of voter fraud, much less millions of votes. A comprehensive 2014 report examining years of elections turned up 31 instances of credible fraud out of one billion votes cast.
Trump’s West Virginia event was billed by the White House as a roundtable discussion on tax reform, but the president quickly veered off course, returning to a topic that he hadn’t discussed for months. Early on in his presidency, Trump regularly asserted that he would have won the state of New Hampshire if not for buses of people coming into the state to vote illegally. Pressed for proof of such a claim, the administration dispatched senior policy advisor Stephen Miller to defend it.
RELATED: Conspiracy theories of President Trump and his inner circle
The conspiracy theories of President Trump and his inner circle
The conspiracy theories of President Trump and his inner circle
Trump and the 'birther' claim
Trump has made remarks on multiple occasions in his past suggesting former President Barack Obama "doesn't have a birth certificate." Nearing the end of his campaign trail, Trump finally admitted in September 2016 that Obama "was born in the United States."
Here is a 2011 excerpt from his statement on the conspiracy theory surrounding the "birther" claim
"He doesn't have a birth certificate, or if he does, there's something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now, somebody told me -- and I have no idea if this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be -- that where it says 'religion,' it might have 'Muslim.' And if you're a Muslim, you don't change your religion, by the way."
Alex Jones' Infowars, Trump tie Sen. Ted Cruz's father to Kennedy assassination
An April 2016 article in Infowars -- a site affiliated with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones -- titled "WAS CRUZ’S FATHER LINKED TO THE JFK ASSASSINATION?" makes the case that Sen. Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, was linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man believed to have killed John F. Kennedy.
In May 2016, Trump brought up an Enquirer story featuring Cruz's father pictured with Oswald, saying, "I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible."
Trump suggests Justice Antonin Scalia was assassinated
"It's a horrible topic," Trump said of Justice Scalia's death during a radio interview with conservative host Michael Savage. At this point, Trump was entering a space in which Savage had already called for a Warren Investigation into Scalia's death -- the same type of investigation that looked into JFK's shooting. In that context, Trump continued his remarks, saying, "But they say they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow. I can’t tell you what—I can’t give you an answer. You know, usually I like to give you answers. But I literally just heard it a little while ago. It’s just starting to come out now, as you know, Michael.”
Alex Jones on Hillary Clinton's mental state
On August 4, 2016, Alex Jones' Infowars published a video titled, "The Truth About Hillary's Bizarre Behavior," in which copy reads, "...Hillary’s conduct also strongly indicates she is a sociopath who has a total lack of empathy for other people."
Jones at one point in August 2016 commented on the system in which Trump would continually pick up talking points from his show, saying, "It is surreal to talk about issues here on air, and then word-for-word hear Trump say it two days later."
Trump: 2016 election is "rigged"
Weeks before 2016 Election Day, Trump appeared on FOX News with Sean Hannity, discussing how the election is rigged because of the "1.8 million people" who vote, even though they're dead.
“You have 1.8 million people who are dead, who are registered to vote, Trump said. "And some of them absolutely vote. Now, tell me how they do that.
After he was elected president, Trump also claimed that there was "serious voter fraud" in the 2016 election, and promised a major investigation into such occurrence.
Roger Stone: Chelsea Clinton needed plastic surgery to hide identity of real father
Longtime Trump friend and political adviser Roger Stone details in his book, "The Clintons' War on Women," that Chelsea Clinton needed "four plastic surgeries" to cover up the identity of her real father, who Stone claims is former Associate Attorney General Webb Hubbell.
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
“I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics,” said Miller on ABC News’ This Week. “It’s very real. It’s very serious. This morning, on this show, is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence.”
That appearance occurred in February 2017 and the White House has yet to find the venue in which to lay out its evidence. Last year, Trump created a commission to investigate voter fraud and gather data to bolster its assertions, but requests to states to turn over voter registry information was widely rejected by officials of both parties.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has been called “the king of voter suppression” by the ACLU, served as the vice chairman of the commission and pushed the debunked theory that millions of people voted illegally. In 2016, Kobach lost a lawsuit and was forced to restore the registrations his office had stripped from nearly 20,000 Kansans. He found himself in court again earlier this year defending his methods in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU. Kobach had one of his own expert witnesses refute the claim millions had voted illegally and could cite just 11 examples since 2000 of a noncitizen voting in Kansas.