Trump charges, without evidence, millions voted illegally

Brookings Institution  Mark Muro

Considering Donald Trump made the jaw-droppingly poor choice of inviting Russia to further interfere with our elections before the vote, the rumors that Trump's team was in touch with Russia officials throughout the campaign, Trump's myriad shady business and banking deals in Russia, and recent revelations that Trump has spoken with Putin more than any other world leader since being elected - it's easy to see why so many want these numbers and irregularities further examined.

"It is a total and complete hypocritical joke that the group of people that thought that they were nervous about President-elect Trump not conceding are the people that are conducting recounts in states where we won by over 68,000 votes", Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on "Fox News Sunday". The deadline to ask for a recount is Wednesday.

Trump regularly raised the specter of a "rigged" election during his campaign, warning about an influx of illegal voting.

Trump leads by little more than 22,000 votes in Wisconsin. The commission has given counties until noon Monday to submit estimated costs for the efforts so Stein can be billed. Federal law requires the recount to be completed by December 13.

Mark Thomsen's comments Monday came before the commission voted to approve starting the recount Thursday, once it receives payment from one or both of the candidates who requested it. These Jill Stein election recount updates are just the beginning of the story given the chance, however small, that it could change the outcome of the race.

Under federal law, the recount must be done by December 13. That means that Clinton lawyers will be present as the votes are count when the recount begins.

Mrs Clinton leads the national popular vote by close to two million votes, but Mr Trump won 290 electoral votes to her 232, not counting MI. Why not in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Trump won the presidency by a margin of about a point or less?

The campaign for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton said Saturday night it will participate in a recount of votes after Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, officially requested a recount on Friday in Wisconsin and has promised to do the same in Pennsylvania and MI. Her campaign spokeswoman didn't respond to messages Monday inquiring about whether the campaign would go to a judge.

Wisconsin granted the request for a recount on Friday.

The last statewide recount in Wisconsin was for a state Supreme Court race in 2011. The commission won't issue the recount order until payment is received.

In a reprise of campaign-season rancor, Donald Trump and his lieutenants are assailing an effort - now joined by Hillary Clinton - to recount votes in up to three battleground states, calling the push fraudulent, the work of "crybabies" and, in the president-elect's estimation, "sad". Stein can't file for a recount for herself; instead, three voters from each voting district must request one. Trump narrowly won Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and has a small lead in MI, which was still too close to call as of Monday morning.

The Clinton campaign confirmed that they will support the recount efforts despite having carried out its own review which "has not resulted in evidence of manipulation of results".

Hillary Clinton's campaign formally joined Stein's Wisconsin effort over the weekend.

Wisconsin officials say it will be tough to finish the recount by the federally required deadline of December 13.

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