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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, February 6, 2017

"Forget That. Forget All of That."

Bill O'Reilly interviews Trump:
O’Reilly: Is there any validity to the criticism of you that you say things you can’t back up factually, and as the president, if you say, for example, that there are 3 million illegal aliens who voted and then you don’t have the data to back it up, some people are gonna say that it’s irresponsible for a president to say that. Is there any validity to that?
Trump: Many people have come out and said I’m right. You know that.
O’Reilly: I know, but you’ve gotta have data to back that up.
Trump: Let me just tell you. And it doesn’t have to do with the vote, although that’s the end result. It has to do with the registration. And when you look at the registration and you see dead people that have voted, when you see people that are registered in two states that voted in two states, when you see other things, when you see illegals, people that are not citizens, and they’re on the registration rolls. Look, Bill, we can be babies, but you take a look at the registration, you have illegals, you have dead people, you have this. It’s really a bad situation. It’s really bad.
O’Reilly: So you think you’re gonna be proven correct in that statement?
Trump: Well, I think I already have. A lot of people have come out and said that I am correct.
O’Reilly: But the data has to show that 3 million illegals voted.
Trump: Forget that. Forget all of that. Just take a look at the registration, and we’re gonna do it, and I’m gonna set up a commission, to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence, and we’re gonna look at it very, very carefully.
In November, we rated claims about 3 million "illegal aliens" voting in this year’s election False.
Erroneous reports on the subject point back to tweets from Gregg Phillips, who has worked for the Republican Party and has a voter fraud reporting app. Phillips has still not provided any evidence to support his claim. In addition, Trump’s claim is undermined by years of publically available information such as a report that found just 56 cases of noncitizens voting between 2000 and 2011.
While there is room for concern about poorly maintained voter rolls, there is little to no evidence that those erroneous registrants turned into votes, which would be voter fraud. During the election, Trump said "14 percent of noncitizens are registered to vote." We rated that False. Trump was citing a highly contested study, which used a small sample size and an unreliable database of Internet respondents.
A few months later, White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrongly cited a 2008 Pew research study to support the same 14 percent figure in late January. We rated his claim False, too, as no study supports that statistic. If 14 percent of all voters in 2008 were noncitizens, that would have to mean that more than 80 percent of America’s noncitizen population voted.