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In his continued effort to argue that massive voter fraud took place in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump gave a shout-out Friday to Gregg Phillips, who has asserted that more than three million votes have been cast by non-citizens.
“Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand. Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3,000,000 votes were illegal. We must do better!” Trump tweeted shortly after Phillips appeared on CNN.
So who is Phillips? He’s a vocal conservative who founded a health-care-data company. And he’s unwilling to share his illegal-vote findings to the public – at least for now.
Back in November – less than a week after Trump’s presidential win – Phillips tweeted, “We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens. We are joining .@TrueTheVote to initiate legal action.”
As Phillips has written, his firm in 2013 partnered with an organization called True the Vote to help update voter-registration records and pair them with voting records and addresses. “The result of this partnership is a technology solution to analyze the nation's voter registration records to quickly and easily verify identity, residency, non-citizens, citizenship, age, duplicates, dead and felon status in real time,” he says.
The one hitch so far: Phillips has yet to share his findings. Here is what he told CNN Friday morning:
CNN: Do you have the proof?PHILLIPS: Yes.CNN: Can I have it?PHILLIPS: No.CNN: Why?PHILLIPS: We’re not—the rest of the tweets, there was a whole series of tweets, those were taken slightly out of context, but one of the key tweets that we have stuck with all along is we’re going to release all of this to the public. We’re going to release our methodology, we’re going to release the raw data, we’re going to release our conclusions, we’re going to release everything to the public.CNN: When?PHILLIPS: As soon as we get done with the checks.CNN: Hold on, so you’re not done checking it yet?
When the fact-checking group PolitiFact looked into Phillips’ claims, it said his inability to release the proof made his findings suspect. “Phillips will not provide any evidence to support his claim, which happens to be undermined by publicly available information. If Phillips does release a more detailed report, we will consider that information. But for now, this claim is inaccurate. We rate it False.”
Phillips, who worked for the Alabama and Mississippi Republican parties in the 1980s and 1990s according to his LinkedIn profile, also has been a vocal conservative on Twitter. Some examples:
“No matter what Obama or anyone else says, the only entity that hacked election systems was Obama's Department of Homeland Security.”
“Emperor Obama has no clothes. His feeble concerns over election integrity are BS. He enabled 3 million illegal votes from non-citizens.”
“The most tyrannical result of Obama's eight years was weaponization of Government against the people.”
Richard Hasen, an election-law expert at the University of California-Irvine School of Law, doesn’t buy Phillips’ allegations. “He’s offered nothing credible whatsoever. It is his word, with absolutely no evidence so far.”
Hasen adds that there have been cases of voter fraud in the past, but never on this massive scale. “Of course voter fraud exists. It is a real, but very small, problem, and the rate of impersonation fraud is minuscule. The rate of noncitizen voting is quite small as well, though there are some documented cases.”
In an interview with NBC News, Phillips said he didn’t care about complaints like Hasen’s that he has offered no public evidence. “I don't care. I'm just an average citizen who has access to a big database ... and an understanding of what I've got,” he said, adding that he’s taking his time to make the information public because he doesn’t want to wrongly accuse anyone of voting illegally.
And Phillips dismissed his ties to Republican and conservative causes. “So what? I’m a volunteer,” he said. “Let’s figure out what is wrong with this. This is not a ‘Gotcha.’”