Last week (wow, it's only been a week), Donald Trump reacted to the news that Jill Stein managed to file for a recount by tweeting that he would be winning the popular vote if not for millions of illegal votes cast for Hillary Clinton, which is a lie. The Wall Street Journal editorial page endorsed Trump questioning the legality of the votes this week, running an editorial by a Heritage Foundation fellow hyping the threat of non-citizen voting. And today on Face The Nation, Trump chief of staff Reince "Thicc" Priebus kept the lie going by suggesting that "it's possible" that literally millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 4, 2016
Priebus, sounding more and more like Jerry Lundegaard trying to sell you on Tru Coat as the clip goes on, told host John Dickerson that the biggest problem with this whole argument we're having about a made up claim by the President-elect is that "no one really knows" if it's true. No one except for, say, researchers who found there have only been 56 cases of non-citizen voting in every American election between 2000 and 2011.
Still, Priebus doesn't let anything like scholarly research get in his way. Not when he can answer the question as to whether the president should be tweeting conspiracy theories with, "I think the President-elect is someone who has pushed the envelope and caused people to think in this country, is not taking conventional thought on every single issue," before claiming that Trump's unconventional thoughts will be what cements him as a great president when all is said and done.
And it wasn't just Priebus. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, on This Week, suggested you don't really need to provide evidence of mass voter fraud if you've got a good feeling it happened:
Pence on ABC: "Look, I don't know that that is a false statement" - re: millions of illegal voters. To clarify, it is*** a false statement. pic.twitter.com/f4nfHo1kvr
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) December 4, 2016
Well, when you look at it that way, it just makes sense. It turns out if the President-elect essentially says "It's a fact that my opponent's votes are illegitimate," that's just him sharing his opinion. And as we all know, the president's opinion never really counts for much or carries weight with people.