Donald Trump taunts Democrats over 'Green Party scam' recount

Hillary Clinton's team has formally backed Green Party candidate Jill Stein's plan to petition for recounts in three key states

Katie Forster
Sunday 27 November 2016 09:14 GMT
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton (Getty)

Donald Trump has accused Hillary Clinton’s team of hypocrisy for supporting Green Party candidate Jill Stein in her push for recounts in three key states.

The President-elect said Ms Stein’s effort was a “scam” and taunted the Democrats, calling the party “badly defeated and demoralised”.

“The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore!” he tweeted on Saturday night.

Donald Trump's four biggest U-turns

So far Ms Stein has raised close to $6 million (£4.8 million) through crowdfunding to pay to petition for recounts of the election results in the key state of Wisconsin and two others.

The request for a recount was submitted to the election authorities in Wisconsin on Friday.

If she reaches her goal of raising $7 million (£5.6 million) in total, Ms Stein will be able to make similar filings to Pennsylvania and Michigan next week.

The plan has been formally backed by Ms Clinton’s campaign team, which confirmed it would help Ms Stein in her efforts to force a recount in the states where Mr Trump’s margin of victory was very slim.

But Mr Trump dismissed the process as a “scam” designed by the Green Party to “fill up their coffers”, echoing the sentiments of a lengthy statement issued earlier in the day in which he called it “ridiculous”.

“The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated [and] demoralized Dems,” he wrote on Twitter.

In the statement, Mr Trump accused Ms Stein of keeping the money raised for herself and the party instead of spending it on the recounts.

"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," he said.

"All three states were won by large numbers of voters, especially Pennsylvania, which was won by more than 70,000 votes."

In Pennsylvania, which has 20 Electoral College votes, Mr Trump in fact won by roughly 68,000 votes, and in Wisconsin, which has ten such votes, his margin was even smaller: just 27,000.

Michigan, which carries 14 votes, is still too close to call, with the difference between the two candidates amounting to fewer than 12,000.

Ms Stein is raising money through a crowdfunding effort to pay for a manual recount of ballots in three states (Getty) ((Getty))

On Saturday, the Clinton campaign said that although it has found no evidence of any external manipulation or tampering of voting systems in any of the states, it would participate in the process started by the Green Party.

Before election day, Ms Clinton and her allies often admonished Mr Trump, who had repeatedly called the system rigged, to respect the results when they came in.

Ms Stein has also said her party has no evidence that any manipulation of the voting system.

“Let me be very clear: We do not have evidence of fraud. We do not have smoking guns. What we do have is an election that was surrounded by hacking,” she wrote on her website.

Mr Trump collected 290 Electoral College votes compared to 232 for Ms Clinton. For her to overturn the results, she would need to secure the votes of all three disputed states.

Ms Stein called for a manual recount of paper ballots in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan after computer experts and electoral lawyers said they found “strong evidence” the results were potentially manipulated.

It is considered highly unlikely that the effort would result in all three of the states flipping from his column to hers, an event that would bring chaos to the presidential transition and spawn an almost certain legal challenge from his side.

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