Political News

Trump slams recount push as 'a scam,' says election is over

Posted November 26

FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump promised big tax cuts for the middle class, but for nearly 8 million families, the opposite would occur: They'd pay more. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

— President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday condemned a growing push to force recounts in three states pivotal to his Nov. 8 victory, confronting the Green Party-backed effort for the first time even as he worked to address key Cabinet vacancies.

The New York billionaire, who charged the election was "rigged" on a daily basis before his victory, called the developing recount effort "a scam" in a statement released by his transition team.

Trump had been ignoring Green Party nominee Jill Stein's fight to revisit vote totals in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Wisconsin officials announced late Friday they are moving forward with the first presidential recount in state history.

"The people have spoken and the election is over," Trump declared Saturday. He added, "We must accept this result and then look to the future."

At the same time, Trump was scrambling to address unfilled administration jobs, having barely scratched the surface of creating the massive team needed to run the government before his Jan. 20 inauguration.

Experts say presidential transitions are periods of great vulnerability for the nation, and among the vacancies on the Trump team are leaders of the departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security.

Trump, who has virtually no experience in foreign affairs, offered a one-line tweet Saturday morning in reaction to the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro — "Fidel Castro is dead!" — before issuing a more detailed statement.

"While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve," Trump said.

His transition team did not respond to requests to clarify his Cuba policy, which was inconsistent during the campaign.

Trump first suggested he supported President Barack Obama's orders loosening the U.S. trade embargo on the island. He reversed himself less than a month before the election, however, vowing to overturn Obama's order unless Cuba meets demands including "religious and political freedom for the Cuban people and the freeing of political prisoners."

Meanwhile, the incoming president paid little if any attention Stein's recount push, but Democratic rival Hillary Clinton forced his hand on Saturday by formally joining the effort. Stein, who drew 1 percent of the vote nationally, is raising millions of dollars to fund the recounts.

"Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves," Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias wrote Saturday in blog post. "But now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides."

Elias said Clinton would take the same approach in Pennsylvania and Michigan if Stein were to follow through with recount requests those states, even though that was highly unlikely to change the election outcome.

"Regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself," Elias wrote.

Clinton leads the national popular vote by close to 2 million votes, but Trump won 290 electoral votes to Clinton's 232, with Michigan still too close to call. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

Trump, who repeatedly challenged the integrity of the U.S. election system before his win, called the recount push "a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded."

"The results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing," he said in the statement, which didn't mention Clinton's involvement.

Trump was spending the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with family at his Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago. He had planned to focus on filling key administration posts over the working vacation. On Friday, he named Fox News analyst Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland as deputy national security adviser and appointed campaign attorney Donald McGahn as White House counsel.

Trump planned to return to his New York home on Sunday ahead of a series of Monday meetings with prospective administration hires, including Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. He's seen as a possible Homeland Security pick. Clarke's vocal opposition to the "Black Lives Matter" movement has made him popular with many conservatives.

Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence also have Monday meetings scheduled with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., former Security and Exchange Commission commissioner Paul Atkins, World Wide Technology chairman David Steward and General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani.

Internal divisions over his choice for secretary of state have delayed that critical decision. The options include former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who lacks foreign policy experience, but was intensely loyal to Trump, and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who aggressively opposed Trump's candidacy but is largely regarded as more qualified. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is also a possibility.

Meanwhile, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. says Trump offered him the job of Secretary of Education, but he turned it down for personal reasons.

Falwell told The Associated Press on Saturday that Trump wanted a four- to six-year commitment, but Falwell says he couldn't leave Liberty for more than two years. Trump announced Wednesday he had selected charter school advocate Betsy DeVos for the job.

22 Comments

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  • Sam Nada Nov 27, 9:12 a.m.
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    Not my President, Buffy. Good luck with him.

  • Pope Yam Nov 27, 7:04 a.m.
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    That's rich coming from the king of scams

  • Bobby Lee Jimmy Billy Nov 27, 6:03 a.m.
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    He watched Mark Jacobson Toyota commercials on TV and liked his hand gesturing sales techniques.

  • Carrie Hurrelbrink Nov 27, 2:05 a.m.
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    I believe Jill Stein was paid off to call for the recount in these 3 key battleground states. When Hillary said she would accept the outcome of the election, she lied. But, what else is new for her? Either way they are wasting time and money because Hillary is NOT getting back in the White House!

  • Justa Mann Nov 26, 11:57 p.m.
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    Hola Nada. Trump is your president. Booyah.

  • Sam Nada Nov 26, 10:08 p.m.
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    You have no idea what you're talking about. Here's the recount procedure in Wisconsin. There's nothing about 10,000 votes. Each State has its own laws regarding recounts.

    http://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/publication/65/recount_manual_11_2016_pdf_17034.pdf

    Also, consessions are in fact merely a courtesy with no legal binding. Gore also conceded then retracted it due to how close the election was, so you don't even know recent history.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concession_(politics)

    Lastly, why would anyone who believes in democracy want someone to be President who didn't actually win the election? Why shouldn't we determine what the true vote count was, just as McCrory is trying to do?

  • Buster Brown Nov 26, 9:58 p.m.
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    Clinton condeded folks---she quit--said it was over and done---its far more than just a verbal statement. The election is a done deal. This push for a recount is just as Trump says--a scam. Where did this woman ( who took a grand total of 1 percent of the votes) raise 7 million dollars in two days--who from--Clinton herself, her foundation or Soros? What standing does she have to even call for a recount? To be eligible to call for a recount, a candidate has to lose by less than, generally, 10,000 votes. She lost by way more than that in all 3 targeted states. She cannot call for a recount on behalf of another candidate. So yes, this whole situation smells and looks like a dead fish on the beach---it stinks and its eye is shining in the moonlight..

  • Richard Tepper Nov 26, 9:47 p.m.
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    Its a rigged system folks. Its no good and its totally rigged. Hhhmmm, who said just about exactly those words ?... Oh, you did Donny. Well, since its so bad and rigged and you won, how do you feel now?......

  • Sam Nada Nov 26, 9:37 p.m.
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    When you come up with some actual evidence that would change the outcome of the election be sure and let us know. Trump's only excuse for losing has always been "it's rigged". Could well be it was rigged for him to win.

  • Sam Nada Nov 26, 6:37 p.m.
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    A concession is just a verbal statement and is not the determining factor in an election, the vote count is. The actual fact is Clinton received more votes than Trump. Whether she actually received enough to change the electoral college count, or who electoral college delegates cast their votes for, has yet to be determined.

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