Screenshot via MSNBC.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer put forth the incredible proposition that Donald Trump, the President of the United States, not only believes as many as five million people voted illegally in this election‚ÄĒthus questioning the legitimacy of his own presidency‚ÄĒhe‚Äôs also cool with it, and doesn‚Äôt intend to investigate.

‚ÄúThe president does believe that [there was widespread voter fraud in this election], he has stated that before. I think he‚Äôs stated his concerns with voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign, and he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him,‚ÄĚ Spicer said. He mentioned, specifically, a 2008 study.

That 2008 Pew study, which Spicer repeatedly referenced, is actually a 2012 study that concluded that about 25 million voter records nationwide are out-of-date. It did not, as the study’s author and the executive director for the Center for Election Innovation and Research David Becker clarified on Twitter in November, find any evidence of voter fraud.

‚ÄúThe report did not allege the 1.8 million deceased people actually voted. Rather, Pew said that it is evidence of the need to upgrade voter registration systems,‚ÄĚ also concluded after Trump mistakenly claimed, during a debate, that ‚Äúpeople who died 10 years ago‚ÄĚ were voting in elections.

When one reporter asked Spicer why the administration wasn‚Äôt investigating what, by his words, sounds like a scandal of massive proportions, Spicer briefly reconsidered his stance: ‚ÄúMaybe we will,‚ÄĚ he said, before walking it back again just a few minutes later.


‚ÄúThere is no investigation. I said it was possible. Anything is possible. It was a hypothetical question,‚ÄĚ he said, stumbling over his words. One reason why everyone should just forget about the implications of such fraud beyond how it excuses Trump‚Äôs poor showing in the popular vote, Spicer explained, is because Trump won the electoral college.

‚ÄúI think he won very handily, with 306 electoral votes, 33 states. He‚Äôs very comfortable with his win. I think he was having a discussion with some folks and mentioned something in passing,‚ÄĚ Spicer said, later refusing to answer questions about whether he personally believed there had been voter fraud.

To be fair, if Spicer’s goal was to make Donald Trump look like a tin foil-wrapped lunatic, then he’s pretty good at his job.