MIAMI — Donald Trump on Tuesday responded to reporters’ questions about the validity of this election by telling media to ask President Obama.
“Ask Obama. Tell him to look at his tape when he was running eight years ago,” Trump said when asked if he thought this election would be stolen from him.
He ignored further questions on the topic while walking inside his Doral resort, specifically if the 2008 election was rigged and if the Senate races this cycle were rigged, as well. It was the first time Trump had taken questions from reporters since the first presidential debate.
In fact, Trump ignored almost all other questions on the scandals plaguing his campaign – including his abrupt about face on Obama’s birthplace and the 11 women accusing him of groping and sexual assault. He did respond to questions about how he was doing in Florida — “I think we’re leading” and “I think we’re winning” — as well as how Obamacare needed to be repealed and replaced.
The tape of Obama that Trump seems to be referring to could be a recently re-upped video of the then-Illinois senator during the 2008 campaign when he himself responded to questions about the rigging or stealing of the election. “I tell you what helps in Ohio,” Obama said then to a voter “we’ve got Democrats in charge of the machines.”
Obama added: “Whenever people are in power, you know, they have this tendency to try to tilt things in their direction. that’s why we’ve got to have, I believe a voting rights division in the justice department that is non-partisan and that is serious about investigating cases of voter fraud, serious about making sure that people aren’t being discouraged to vote.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request to clarify if this was, in fact, the video Trump was trying to point us to.
Trump’s comments come as he arrived outside his Doral club for a photo op with over 50 members of staff from his various Florida hotels, with most from Doral. He led off by saying that “all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare” and that “what they’re going through with their healthcare is horrible” because of the Affordable Care Act.
But as he wrapped his short remarks, Trump contradicted his prior statement saying that his employees are "not worried about their healthcare because we take great care of people."
Later, while walking inside, Trump told reporters that “some” but not “most” of his employees are on Obamacare because he provides insurance through Doral. In a phoner on Fox minutes after the appearance, Trump added that he doesn’t “use much Obamacare,” presumably meaning at his properties.
Doral General Manager David Feder came out to press after to clean up the contradiction, refusing to say that Trump was wrong in his characterization but offering instead that over 95 percent of Doral staffers are not on the exchanges. “We supply it,” Feder said. The small number of Doral employees who are on Obamacare are part-time workers, that may be winter employees or banquet staff, though the general manager said they “don’t keep track really.” Feder said that if the employees worked 30 or more hours per week on average, they would get their benefits through Doral.
Trump’s photo-op included testimonials from his own employees, who he repeatedly assured the press he did not tell them to say these things in advance. Trump invited his employees to come to the microphone after he finished his short remarks, with press huddled on the grass fringe in the back.