In an article posted by the Los Angeles Times this past Tuesday, many people were infuriated to hear President Trump’s claim that “3 million to 5 million votes were illegally cast,” as it was an unproven claim that his press secretary, Sean Spicer, and other congressional leaders had to try to defend. The motivations for this article was to share the inaccurate statements made by Trump in an effort to give the public facts to formulate their own opinions. This piece mentions that Trump has for years believed his claim which was based off of 1.) a Pew study from 2008 by Old Dominion University that found 14% of people who voted as non-citizens, which turned out to be false. 2.) information from the website, Infowars, which is not a credible source. Since these “studies” aligned with Trump’s thoughts, he used them in an attempt to justify himself, but ended up looking worse, especially because there is no true nor valid evidence of widespread voter fraud in the millions.
“If 3 [million] to 5 million people voted illegally, that is a scandal of astronomical proportions,” one reporter said to Spicer. “Why not investigate?” “Well, maybe we will,” Spicer responded. Pressed again about a potential investigation, Spicer said none existed. “There is no investigation,” he said. “I said it was possible. Anything is possible. It was a hypothetical question.”
The media were asking hard questions here, and found gold with childish responses. But many people like myself can’t think of good answers on the spot either, and have to use bad ones to buy more time to think. The media on the other hand get to prepare questions and have to ask the interviewee quickly, so that they can get true and credible quotes to use in their news stories.
Trump could have avoided all of this if he would have just verified his facts, before making inaccurate claims, instead of using “alternative” ones to protect himself from the assertions of falsehoods. Instead, he and his cabinet brushed it under the mat while giving cringe-worthy answers to the press which made things worse because communication from government to media is important, something they seem to be handling poorly.
What this story left out and forgot to acknowledge however, was the rest of this interview, making the current article somewhat out of context. The press conference was an hour and 40 minutes long, and something else newsworthy may have come up, maybe even something that could have made Trump look a little better; though a very logical approach from the writer, since the article is still valid and makes sense. All of the evidence presented in this story was verifiable, except for the unnamed “one reporter” who asked the question to Spicer in paragraph eight of the article.
Basically, “voter fraud” exists, but not by its true definition. Browsing through articles online, multiple credible websites such as the New York Times, factcheck.org, and brennancenter.org of New York University School of Law have come to similar conclusions that voter registration inaccuracies exist. Some examples of what Trump perhaps meant but did not explicitly say (giving him the benefit of the doubt) is that people who are registered in two states could have voted twice, or that eligible and registered voters’ votes may have been disenfranchised due to “trivial, immaterial errors and omissions.” My quick research showed that this rarely happens, although not never, therefore his claim that voter fraud is in the millions, is still very much false.