President Trump is calling for a “major investigation” of voter fraud, as he continues to stand by his lies about the 2016 election—despite the fact that his claims have been widely debunked by experts. On Monday, Trump had his first meeting with congressional lawmakers Monday, during which he again lied about the 2016 election results. He falsely claimed that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton because 3 to 5 million unauthorized immigrants voted in the election. During a news briefing Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump continues to maintain this belief.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer: “I think he was having a discussion with some folks and mentioned something in passing, which has been a long-standing belief that he’s maintained. This isn’t the first time they’ve heard this concern of his. Trey?”
Reporter: “It’s not, but I think it’s worth clarifying whether illegal ballots or illegal immigrants are being referred to as to—”
Press Secretary Sean Spicer: “And I think there’s been studies. There’s one that came out of Pew in 2008 that showed 14 percent of people who have voted were noncitizens. There’s other studies that have been presented to him. It’s a belief he maintains.”
That was Sean Spicer, claiming that a 2008 study published by the Pew Research Foundation supports Trump’s “belief.” But Politico reports Spicer himself was lying on multiple counts in this statement. According to Politico, there is no 2008 Pew study saying any such thing. There is another study—published in 2014 and since widely debunked—that mistakenly claimed 14 percent of noncitizens said they were registered to vote in 2008 and 2010. Brian Schaffner, one of the academics behind the survey data on which the study was based, told CNN Trump is misinterpreting the study, calling Trump’s claims “absurd” and “not even plausible” and saying, “Of the people who we were sure were non-citizens, we could not find any who actually cast a vote.”