The author of a Pew study said President Donald Trump's press secretary is wrong to cite the research center to back up his claims of massive voter fraud in November's election.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked at the daily press briefing Tuesday about reports Trump told a group of bipartisan lawmakers Monday he would have won the popular vote Nov. 8 if nearly 3 million people had not voted illegally.
"I think there have been studies," Spicer said. "There was one that came out of Pew in 2008 that showed 14 percent of people who have voted were not citizens. There are other studies that were presented to him."
The Washington Post fact checker reported the study Spicer cited does not make that claim. Trump also appears to have conflated the study with another Pew study that also does not back up the claim, according to the Post.
The 2012 study Becker authored did find "millions of out of date registration records due to people moving or dying, but found no evidence that voter fraud resulted," Becker tweeted.
In fact, Trump's own lawyers responding to a recount petition filed by Green Party candidate Jill Stein wrote, "All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake."
Trump has repeated the claim many times since November's election in which Trump handily won the Electoral College — which is used to determine the presidential winner — though he lost the nationwide popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump critics and supporters alike have wondered why he focuses on seemingly trivial matters such as the size of his inauguration crowd and whether he should have won the popular vote. One popular theory is Trump is controlling the message — such as having the media talk about Trump's complaints about the media, so it would spend less time talking about the worldwide protests against him Saturday.
But conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer disagreed, saying Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Special Report," "I don't think it's a strategy; this is a character problem."
Trump defines himself as a winner, he said.
"He's obsessed with the fact that he won the election," Krauthammer said, ". . . He considers this a slight to his image and his self-image as a guy who runs the table who wins everything."
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