U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday called a request for a recount of votes in Wisconsin a “scam” by the Green Party and said even his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton had said the election results should be accepted.
”This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what (Green Party leader) Jill Stein is doing,” Trump said in a statement about the recount.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount,” Trump said.
Stein denied Trump’s claims that funds raised for the recount would be allocated elsewhere.
“For his information, this is all going into a dedicated and segregated account so that it can only be spent on the recount,” Stein told CNN on Saturday.
“He may be creating his own facts here as he’s been known to do some times in the past,” Stein said. “He himself said it was rigged election unless he won it.”
Stein tweeted on Saturday that she would fight for recounts in additional states.
Earlier Saturday, Clinton’s campaign said it will take part in the Wisconsin recount.
Marc Elias, the Clinton campaign counsel, said the campaign would take part in the recount in Wisconsin as well as in the other battleground states of Pennsylvania and Michigan if recounts were mounted there.
Wisconsin’s election board on Friday approved the recount requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She has said she wants to guarantee the integrity of the U.S. voting system since computer hacking had marked the Nov. 8 election.
Elias said in a statement on the Medium website that the Clinton campaign had not planned to seek a recount since its own investigation had failed to turn up any sign of hacking of voting systems.
“But now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides,” Elias said.
Clinton’s campaign should be legally represented in Wisconsin to be able to monitor the recount, he said.
Although Trump won the Electoral College tally, Clinton will have won the national popular vote by more than 2 million ballots when the final results are in.
Stein has raised $5.8 million of the $7 million needed to cover fees and legal costs for the three recounts, according to her campaign website. The deadline for filing a recount bid in Pennsylvania is Monday.
The voting margins make it highly unlikely any recounts would end up giving Clinton a win in all three states, which would be needed for the overall election result to change.
Trump beat Clinton in Pennsylvania by 70,010 votes, in Michigan by 10,704 votes and in Wisconsin by 27,257 votes.
Experts urged extra scrutiny of the three states, Stein told CNN on Friday, because their voting systems were seen as vulnerable.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Andrew Hay)