Trump makes up story about voter fraud, lies about border wall then says his 'language is very nice'

Alleged plot to kill Democrats and journalists is a ‘very sad thing’, president says

Peter Stubley
Saturday 23 February 2019 13:03
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Trump says his language is 'very nice' when asked about responsibility for white-supremacist Coast Guard's terror threats

Donald Trump has repeated false claims about voter fraud and the border wall as he rejected suggestions his attacks on journalists and Democrats were inciting violence.

The US president, who repeatedly describes the media as the “enemy of the people”, was asked whether he should monitor his own language after a white supremacist Coast Guard officer was charged with plotting to kill prominent public figures.

He replied: “No I don’t, I think my language is very nice.”

Asked for his thoughts about the case of alleged “domestic terrorist” Christopher Paul Hasson during a press conference in the Oval Office, Mr Trump replied: “I think it’s a shame, it’s a very sad thing when a thing like that happens.”

Mr Hasson is said to have stockpiled weapons and ammunition in his basement in Maryland and written a draft letter to a neo-Nazi leader identifying himself as a white nationalist and calling for the establishment of a “white homeland”.

He also drew up a list of public figures to target, including House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi, 2020 presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman John Podesta and CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Mr Trump’s comments about the case contrasted with his response to the allegations that Empire actor Jussie Smollett faked being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago. He tweeted: “What about Maga and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?”

The president also told reporters that he believed the border wall would go ahead after his declaration of a state of national emergency to secure $6.7bn ($5.2bn) in funding.

Trump makes up story about voter fraud and lies about border wall during Oval Office press conference

“Everybody knows we need a wall,” he claimed. “We have we have apprehended more people than we have in many years.” In fact the number of people trying to cross illegally has decreased from 1.6 million in 2000 to 400,000 in 2018.

He was next asked why he had not condemned voter fraud in North Carolina, where the Republican candidate in the race for Congress admitted his lead over his Democratic opponent was tainted by ballot tampering conducted by operatives working for his campaign.

Mr Trump replied by mentioning supposed cases in California, Florida and Texas. “Well I condemn any election fraud, and when I look what’s happened in California with the votes, when I look at what happened, you know there was just a case where they found a million fraudulent votes.”

His claims appear to be based on a viral Facebook post that millions of illegal votes were cast in California in November as well as allegations that votes were added after election day in Florida and tens of thousands of non-citizens were on the electoral roll in Texas. No evidence of voter fraud has been found in any of those cases.

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When the reporter tried to interrupt to say that his claims were not “actual cases”, he dismissed it with an “excuse me” and continued. He later added: “I condemn any voter fraud of any kind, whether it’s Democrat or Republican.”

The president has repeatedly claimed that Hillary Clinton won 3 million more votes than him in the 2016 election because of illegal voter registrations, non-citizen voting, and those registered in two states – despite there being no evidence to support claims of voter fraud.

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