The “expert” that President Donald Trump has repeatedly cited in his false claims of massive voter fraud was registered to vote in three states for the November election ― something Trump calls fraud even though it’s perfectly legal.
Gregg Phillips, who originated the conspiracy theory that 3 million voted illegally in the November election, which Trump seized upon after he lost the popular vote, was registered to vote in Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, The Associated Press reported on Monday. Phillips only voted once, in Alabama.
Trump has repeatedly claimed ― without evidence ― that between 3 million and 5 million people voted illegally in the election, costing him the popular vote. He and his administration have continued to promote the unsubstantiated claims.
Last week, Trump announced “a major investigation” into the matter. The probe would include people registered in multiple states, Trump said.
“Of those votes cast, none of ‘em come to me. None of ‘em come to me. They would all be for the other side,” Trump told ABC News anchor David Muir. “But when you look at the people who are registered — dead, illegal and two states, and some cases, maybe three states — we have a lot to look into.”
In November, Phillips claimed to have evidence that “the number of non-citizen votes exceeded 3 million,” but refused to present it. The right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars elevated his unfounded theory, and later that month, Trump, a conspiracy theorist himself, tweeted that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
Trump brought up the false claims during a meeting with congressional leaders last week, when he reportedly told them that 3 million to 5 million “illegals” cost him the popular vote. The next day, White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump, but provided no evidence.
Several members of Trump’s family and inner circle of advisers were registered to vote in two states, including Spicer, chief strategist Steve Bannon, son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, and daughter Tiffany.
People often end up with voter registrations in multiple states when they move. There’s no requirement that they cancel an old registration. Most election authorities periodically sweep voter rolls and clear out people who have moved or died.