Politics

A reporter called out Trump on his faulty Electoral College math

President Donald Trump was called out for some faulty electoral college math during his news conference Thursday afternoon.

Shortly after he began his press conference Thursday, Trump stated that his electoral college win was the biggest since President Ronald Reagan before pivoting to an attack on the media.

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“I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan. In other words, the media’s trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made, and they’re not happy about it for whatever reason,” he said.

NBC’s Peter Alexander challenged him on the assertion during a Q & A, pointing out that President Obama, among others, had a larger margin, Trump said he was given the information.

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“You said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan, with 304, 306 electoral votes. In fact, president Obama got 365,” Alexander said. “President Obama 332, and George H.W. Bush 426, when he won as president. So why should should Americans trust...”

“I was given that information, I don’t know,” Trump interrupted. “I was just given that information. It was a very, very big margin.”

But Alexander continued to press, asking Trump why Americans should trust him when he relaying faulty information.

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“I guess my question is, why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive of being fake when you’re providing information that...”

“Well I don’t know, I was given that information. Actually I’ve seen that information around,” Trump said. “But it was a very substantial victory, do you agree with that?”

“You’re the president,” Alexander replied.

President Donald Trump won the electoral college with 306 electoral college votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232. According to the New York Times, that ranks as the 46th largest electoral college margin in history. Since Ronald Reagan’s time, George H.W. Bush in 1988 received 426 electoral votes, Bill Clinton received 370 in 1992 and 379 in 1996, and Barack Obama won 365 in 2008 and 332 in 2012.

Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the year of George H.W. Bush’s election.

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