Tuesday 20 March 2018

Trump in Twitter fury at Clinton support for US election recounts

Donald Trump Photo: AP
Donald Trump Photo: AP

David Lawler

Donald Trump, the US president-elect, unleashed a storm of angry tweets yesterday after Hillary Clinton's campaign said it would join with Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, in trying to secure recounts in key states.

Mr Trump accused Mrs Clinton, his Democratic rival for the presidency, of hypocrisy and called the recount push a "scam", while a senior aide warned that Mr Trump had not ruled out launching a criminal inquiry into the former secretary of state over her email scandal.

Wisconsin has begun a recount and Pennsylvania and Michigan may follow after Dr Stein raised more than $6m (€5.65m) to fund the counts.

A small group of computer scientists and election lawyers sparked the efforts by claiming to have evidence that voting machines in the states could have been manipulated to help Mr Trump.

Mr Trump began the barrage on Saturday night, writing: "The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated and demoralised Dems".

Hours later, he added: "The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore!"

He then issued a string of seven tweets in an hour, using Mrs Clinton's own words against her. "Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change," he wrote.

Mr Trump noted that his former rival had said, prior to election day, that it was "horrifying" that he would not promise to accept the vote outcome.

Marc Elias, general counsel for the Clinton campaign, released a statement saying the campaign had "concerns" about the claims that the election may have been hacked, and felt "an obligation" to supporters to pursue the recounts.

Mrs Clinton won the popular vote by more than two million ballots but the unexpected results in the three Midwestern states propelled Mr Trump to the White House.

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Mr Trump, called Mrs Clinton's decision to join the recount push "incredible", noting that Mr Trump could still choose to push for another email investigation.

Mrs Conway told CNN, "He's been incredibly gracious and magnanimous to Secretary Clinton at a time when, for whatever reason, her folks are saying they will join in a recount to try to somehow undo the 70-plus electoral votes that he beat her by."


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