In an interview with ABC News’ David Muir that aired on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump defended his debunked claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election and attacked the author of a study who found that there is not widespread voter fraud in the United States.
Muir told Trump that his claim that three to five million people voted illegally has been “debunked,” telling Trump that a Pew report he has cited does not provide evidence of widespread fraud.
“Really? Then why did he write the report?” Trump asked, later accusing the study’s author of “groveling again.”
“You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they wanna write something that you wanna hear but not necessarily millions of people wanna hear or have to hear,” Trump said.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 25, 2017
Muir also noted to Trump that some Republican lawmakers have said that they do not see evidence of widespread voter fraud, which Trump dismissed.
“Let me just tell you, you know what’s important, millions of people agree with me when I say that if you would’ve looked on one of the other networks and all of the people that were calling in they’re saying, ‘We agree with Mr. Trump. We agree.’ They’re very smart people,” Trump said. “The people that voted for me — lots of people are saying they saw things happen. I heard stories also. But you’re not talking about millions. But it’s a small little segment.”
Muir tried to clarify whether Trump believes millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.
“I didn’t say there are millions. But I think there could very well be millions of people. That’s right,” the President replied, contradicting past statements he has made asserting that millions voted illegally.
The ABC host later asked, “Do you think that talking about millions of illegal votes is dangerous to this country without presenting the evidence?”
“Not at all because many people feel the same way that I do,” Trump replied.
When Muir asked if making unsubstantiated claims undermines Trump’s credibility, Trump doubled down on his beliefs about voter fraud.
“No, not at all because they didn’t come to me. Believe me. Those were Hillary votes,” Trump said.