President-elect Donald Trump attempted on Sunday to call into question election results in New Hampshire, claiming — but offering no evidence — that there had been voter fraud in the swing state narrowly won by Hillary Clinton.
“Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California — so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!” the Republican tweeted.
The claim, which critics quickly mocked as implausible, echoed in part assertions that were made and debunked in the days before the election.
Thomas D. Rath, the former New Hampshire attorney general who has opposed Trump, tweeted, “This will probably cost me my spot in the Cabinet but there was no fraud, serious or other, in this election in NH. There just wasn’t.”
Rath, a Republican who served as New Hampshire primary campaign co-chairman to Ohio Governor John Kasich, did not respond to request for further comment.
This will probably cost me my spot in the Cabinet but there was no fraud, serious or other, in this election in NH. There just wasn't.— Tom Rath (@polguru) November 28, 2016
Trump’s media office did not immediately respond to a request Sunday night for information about what led him to allege that voter fraud had affected results in New Hampshire and the other states.
His message followed a series of earlier posts on Sunday in which Trump voiced opposition to recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania proposed by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and supported in Wisconsin by representatives for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Trump also continued to claim — without providing any support — that voter fraud had been widespread in the Nov. 8 election.
Midafternoon on Sunday, he tweeted, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
No evidence has been reported of widespread voting fraud anywhere in the country.
In New Hampshire, a spokesman for outgoing Governor Maggie Hassan, pushed back against Trump’s claim. Hassan, a Democrat, also won a narrow race in New Hampshire, unseating incumbent Republican US Senator Kelly Ayotte.
“His tweet is completely unsubstantiated and claims of voter fraud in New Hampshire have earned Politifact’s rating of ‘Pants on Fire.’ ” said the spokesman, William Hinkle.
Hinkle was referring to a report by the non-partisan fact-checking website that debunked claims by then-New Hampshire Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu, who later won the election for governor.
On Oct. 31, Sununu said on Howie Carr’s WRKO radio show that Democrats had abused the state’s same-day voter registration law and bused in voters from Massachusetts, according to published reports.
“We have same day voter registration, and to be honest, when Massachusetts elections are not very close, they’re busing them in all over the place,” Sununu said, according to the Concord Monitor.
Sununu later walked back some of his claims.
Politifact found that voter fraud had been reported in New Hampshire — but only on a small scale, and that Sununu provided no evidence that out-of-state voters had been bused into the Granite State.
It quoted New Hampshire Secretary of State William M. Gardner saying there had been prosecutions for election fraud in each year since 2000 and that out-of-state residents had been caught voting there, but that fraud had not been a widespread problem.
“I have no basis to say it’s rampant, and there are ways we can deal with it,” Gardner said, according to Politifact. Gardner and two deputy secretaries of state could not be reached for comment Sunday night.
Politifact called Sununu’s claim “ridiculous.”
On Sunday, Sununu spokesman David Abrams said he had not yet seen Trump’s tweet, but that Sununu’s “position on voter fraud and election reform is well recorded.”
Abrams said that Sununu had expressed to him no concerns about voter fraud in New Hampshire in the nearly three weeks since the election.
Some New Hampshire Democrats responded in outraged terms to Trump’s claim.
Jeff Woodburn, a state senator, wrote on Facebook that he took “great pride in the integrity of New Hampshire’s voting process.” Woodburn said he believed Sununu’s earlier comments were the source of “President-elect Trump’s outrageous, unsubstantiated claim that New Hampshire’s election was rigged by ‘serious voter fraud.’”
Colin Van Ostern, a Democratic member of New Hampshire’s Executive Council who ran unsucccessfully for governor this year, tweeted, “This false attack on NH’s elections reveals how threatened he is by the power of voters -- which he wants to restrict. Resist!”
Dean Barker, a Democratic blogger in New Hampshire, wrote: “This is a real moment of truth for #NHGov-Elect Sununu. Will he knock this falsehood down or drag our state’s reputation down with it?”
Barker also pointed out that the Trump campaign had the opportunity to request a recount in the state but allowed the Nov. 14 deadline to pass.
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016