During a campaign speech in the state of New Hampshire earlier this week, President Donald Trump alleged voter fraud.
The president told the enthusiastic crowd that he would have won the battleground state in 2016 had there not been voter fraud, according to Politico.
“New Hampshire, you have a reputation. Very, very elegant state. You’re not acting it tonight, and that’s a good thing,” the president began.
“New Hampshire was taken away from us [in 2016] but we did great in New Hampshire. We should’ve won in New Hampshire,” he said.
As The New York Times reported, in 2017, the president told a group of Republican senators during a behind-closed-doors meeting that thousands of New Hampshire voters were not actually from the state — they were bused in from Massachusetts and voted illegally, according to the president.
Trump is yet to provide evidence for his claim, but that has not stopped him from disputing the results of the 2016 presidential election. The president has repeatedly insisted that he would have won the popular vote had there not been “millions” of ballots cast by undocumented immigrants who, he claims, voted in states such as California.
The Chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, appears to have had enough of the president’s conspiracy theories.
In the aftermath of Trump’s New Hampshire rally, Weintraub sent an official letter to the president, urging him to provide evidence of voter fraud, The Hill reports.
Weintraub, a Democrat, accused Trump of “undermining the faith” of the American people in the fairness of elections.
“Your voter-fraud allegations run the risk of undermining that faith,” she wrote, before taking a jab at Trump’s past business endeavors, and urging him to either provide proof of voter fraud, or stop spreading the evidence-free theory.
“To put in terms a former casino operator should understand, there comes a time when you need to lay your cards on the table or fold,” she said.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) August 17, 2019
Some have suggested that Trump’s motivations for alleging voter fraud could be more sinister than most assume.
Trump is continuing to allege voter fraud in order to set the stage for the 2020 presidential election, journalist Mehdi Hasan suggested in a column penned for The Intercept, writing that Trump is “laying the groundwork” to dispute the results of the 2020 presidential election in case he loses.
According to Hasan, it would not be out of character for Trump to, instead of conceding and congratulating his opponent, hold a rally “at which he declares himself the winner, tells the crowd ‘what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,’ slams the ‘fake news’ media, and claims ‘millions and millions’ of people voted illegally for the Democrats.”