Once again President trump has repeated his complaint that the only reason he lost the popular vote by about 3 million votes is that millions of fraudulent votes cost him the popular vote. White House spokesperson Sean Spicer was asked multiple times about this and didn’t give any substantive answer.

Press briefing

In Tuesday's press briefing a clearly exasperated White House Press Secretary was repeatedly asked about the President’s often stated belief that millions of illegal votes were cast in the recent election.

He also told the press corps that President Trump was going forward with the Canadian-owned Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota pipelines bringing many new jobs to the region and aiding in improving American energy independence.

When completed the pipeline will mostly carry synthetic oil made from Canadian oil-tar sands to the US and also to Gulf Ports where it can be exported. A small percentage of the capacity will also carry US produced light crude oil to refineries.

Spicer also announced that President Trump would require that US made steel be used in construction of the rest of the pipeline. Republicans voted down that same requirement a few years ago when Democrats tried to include it in the plan.

Voter fraud

A 2008 Pew study was the only source cited by Sean Spicer today as evidence of large-scale voter fraud. The actual study was a 12-page 2012 Pew study titled "Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient: Evidence That America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade."

It does discuss the inaccurate registrations of deceased voters who passed between election cycles and people who were registered in more than one state.

What it did not say was that any of those people actually voted illegally.

In the case of the deceased none of them have ever been reported as actually going to a polling place and casting a fraudulent vote because they are dead.

People are registered in more than one state because Americans tend to move a lot, but there was nothing in the Pew report indicating anyone voted in one state then rushed to the other state where they were registered.

The study said 1.8 million deceased were still registered to vote because there is no mechanism to remove them from the voter roles other than by them not showing up to vote.

State voter officials

A problem with the claim widespread fraud is that most states have Republican Governors and therefore official in charge of voting in the state is also a Republican.

That is specifically true in the key States of Ohio, Nevada, and Colorado where the top election officials are all Republicans. There are in excess of 8,000 voting districts and poll workers from both major parties are overseeing every election.

Party leaders and studies

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called President Trump’s claims of voter fraud "inappropriate" and said he should "knock this off."

Reporters repeatedly ask Spicer if this vital threat to the voting system was going to be investigated by the Administration. He declined to say.

A 2007 study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School examined cases where voter fraud had been alleged and found it had occurred between 0.00004% and 0.0009% times out of the total vote.

A Loyola professor who used this as a class project was able to find 31 cases of in-person voter fraud between 2000 and 2014. That is 31 out of a bit more than 1 billion ballots.

President Trump’s often repeated claims during the election campaign were made because he said the election was being stolen from him. Although the voter fraud claims are entirely baseless a survey during the campaign found that about 40% of Trump supporters believed the claims that the election could be stolen. So it was a very effective campaign strategy to claim the high numbers of voter fraud. The question of why he is still harping on this completely baseless claim now that he has won and been sworn in is something which The White House has not addressed yet.