Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer backed up President-elect Donald Trump’s Twitter musings that anyone who burns the American flag should face loss of citizenship or jail time and that millions of people voted illegally in this year’s election.
Spicer compared Trump’s tweets about flag burning to Hillary Clinton’s introduction of legislation in 2005 to criminalize flag burning during a Tuesday interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. He also argued that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that protected flag burning as constitutional speech went to show that four justices actually did agree with Trump that the gesture should be illegal.
“I think the vast majority of Americans agree with him, that burning the flag should be outlawed,” Spicer said. “That 5-4 decision that the justice [Antonin Scalia] was speaking of was something that clearly four justices also believed should be illegal. This is something that’s bipartisan. In 2005 Hillary Clinton introduced the Flag Protection Act that had a one-year imprisonment or $5,000 fine for flag burning.”
Spicer went on to double down on an unsubstantiated claim by Trump that “millions” of people illegally voted in the election and that he would have won the popular vote if they hadn’t done so.
The RNC spokesman was jus the latest Trump lackey to cite a flimsy 2014 Washington Post op-ed that claimed 14 percent of noncitizens were registered to vote. The piece, which was based on speculative data, was rebutted by three separate pieces on the Washington Post site alone and additionally was debunked by peer review. Trump cited it in a stump speech earlier this year, as have several of his surrogates this week.
“There have been studies that have shown— studies that shown irregularities but not millions of voters,” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer told Spicer.
“Sure. If you look at the percentage. There was a Washington Post story not too along ago that showed the number could be as high as 14 percent,” Spicer said. “If you extrapolate that out, it’s clearly millions.”
“Are you saying he won the popular vote? Is that what you’re saying?” Blitzer asked.
“No. I am saying the way of electoral process was set up it was focused on getting to 270,” Spicer said.
Blitzer continued to press Spicer as to whether he agreed that people voted illegally in the 2016 election, while Spicer kept bashing the Washington Post for noting Trump’s claim was untrue.
“You say there are millions of people who voted in the most recent presidential election who voted illegally? Is that what I hear Sean Spicer say as well?” Blitzer asked.
“What you are hearing me say is these are studies presented in The Washington Post and Pew,” Spicer said.
“The Washington Post gave him ‘four pinocchios’ for saying that,” Blitzer pointed out. “Said it was totally, totally false.”
“It’s interesting that The Washington Post gave pinocchios to someone citing a Washington Post study,” Spicer shot back.
Watch below via CNN: