Steve King Finds Trump’s Baseless Undocumented Voter Claims ‘Plausible’

Lauren Victoria Burke

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed Tuesday that it was “plausible,” based on his own calculations, that millions of “illegals” voted in the presidential election.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, King said that he had “extrapolated” that about 2.4 million votes nationwide could have been cast by undocumented people, based on what he said were instances of voter fraud in two counties in Virginia and others nationwide.

King said he had not heard about “the three to five” million votes cast by undocumented people that Trump claimed Tuesday had lost him the popular vote. But he told Jackson that he found Trump’s baseless claim of 3 million people who voted illegally “plausible.”

“There is sample data from two counties in Virginia and other counties scattered around the country and I took that article when I first saw it come out— a couple, three months ago, and did an extrapolation calculation on how many illegals could have or could be voting in the United States,” he said. “The number I came up with off of that extrapolation is 2.4 million. So it’s plausible. 3 million sounds like a plausible number to me.”

Jackson challenged that claim by citing repeated instances of fact-checkers finding that Trump’s claim was without merit.

“Sometimes the fact-checkers have a political agenda,” King said in response.

In fact, one of those few 2016 voter fraud cases occurred in King’s home state, where one Des Moines woman was charged with first-degree election misconduct after voting for Trump twice at separate polling locations. The woman later told a public radio station that she voted twice because she was afraid the polls would be “rigged.”

King also targeted the National Voter Registration Act, popularly known as Motor-Voter, for its authorization of creating voter registration opportunities at DMV offices, public assistance agencies and elsewhere.

“There are many people who will go in for Motor-Voter, giving drivers licenses to illegals,” he said. “They ask them if they want to sign up under Motor-Voter and register to vote. Maybe they don’t understand the language, maybe they understand, they can be signed up anyway.”

Still, King pushed back against Jackson when she asked if his claim of millions of potentially illegal votes would render Trump’s electoral victory illegitimate.

“Yes I think it was a legitimate election,” he said. “If there were illegal votes that were cast, I don’t know the magnitude, he overcame that.”

Watch below, via MSNBC:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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