FEC chair slams Trump's 'baseless' voter fraud claims

"There is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in 2016 or really in any previous election," Ellen Weintraub said Monday on CNN.
Image: President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One in Morristown
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One in Morristown, New Jersey, on Aug. 18, 2019.Nicholas Kamm / AFP - Getty Images

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By Adam Edelman

The top elections official in the U.S. on Monday slammed President Donald Trump’s repeated allegations of rampant election fraud and doubled down on a demand that he stop making such claims.

“Facts matter, and people of America need to be able to believe what their leaders tell them,” Federal Elections Commission Chair Ellen Weintraub said on CNN’s “New Day.” “There is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in 2016 or really in any previous election.”

“It is damaging to our democracy to spread information that … is baseless,” she added.

Weintraub, a Democrat, said the issue had been studied by academics, lawyers and government officials from both parties — “and no one can find any evidence of rampant voter fraud either historically or particularly in the 2016 elections.”

“These are serious allegations,” Weintraub said, adding that if Trump has proof to support his claims, he should make it public.

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“But if there is no proof, then these things really shouldn’t be said,” Weintraub said.

Her comments came just days after she sent Trump a letter demanding he produce evidence to support his claim that voter fraud in New Hampshire resulted in him not winning the state in the 2016 election.

"To put it in terms a former casino operator would understand: There comes a time when you need to lay your cards on the table or fold,” she wrote.

On Thursday night, before a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump suggested without evidence that the only reason he lost New Hampshire in 2016 was because the election in the state was stolen from him.

“New Hampshire should have been won last time, except we had a lot of people come in at the last moment, which was a rather strange situation,” Trump told reporters before departing his summer retreat in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the rally. “Thousands and thousands of people coming in from locations unknown. But I knew where their location was.”

The president repeated the claim during the rally, saying, “New Hampshire was taken from us.”

Trump lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race by fewer than 3,000 votes.

Trump has previously claimed without evidence that millions of illegal votes cost him the national popular vote in 2016 against Clinton, who had about 3 million more votes.

There is no evidence that there has been any type of substantial vote fraud anywhere in the U.S., or that undocumented immigrants cast millions of illegal ballots, as Trump has suggested.

Trump formed a voter fraud commission in 2017, but disbanded it in 2018 amid a slew of legal fights; it had not found any proof of widespread voter fraud.