Trump calls it 'sad' that Clinton joining recount effort

Brookings Institution  Mark Muro

Brookings Institution Mark Muro

It is ironic that a key issue during the campaign was whether or not Trump, should he lose the election, concede defeat graciously.

Trump charged in a statement that the effort was nothing but a fundraising ploy by the Green Party and its nominee, Jill Stein.

Trump on Saturday had called the Green Party's pursuit of recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania a "scam".

Clinton leads the national popular vote by close to 2 million votes, but Trump won 290 electoral votes to Clinton's 232, not counting MI. It takes 270 to win the Presidency, and the three states in question could tip the electoral balance to Clinton in the remote event that all flipped to her in recounts.

"All they did was ask people like me and Mr. Trump himself six ways to Sunday, a million times plus: 'Will you accept the election results?'" Conway said.

"It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4 states instead of the 15 states that I visited", Trump tweeted.

From the sidelines, Vermont Sen.

Trump was expected to return to NY on Sunday after spending the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at his West Palm Beach estate.

But in a pair of subsequent tweets, Trump declared that the Electoral College "is actually genius" because it empowers smaller states. Internal division over the position again spilled out into the open on Sunday as Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway voiced her concerns with the possibility of Romney landing such a significant position.

It is far from the first time Trump has turned to Twitter to rant about election results or presidential election issues.

Clinton conceded the race to Trump in the early morning hours of November 9 and gave a speech later that day declaring "Donald Trump is going to be our president". She wouldn't say what they talked about.

The former mayor of NY has touted his experience traveling, consulting and speaking overseas since leaving office in 2001. Bob Corker and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton for the job.

"I'm all for party unity, but I'm not sure that we have to pay for that with the secretary of State position", Conway said, although she quickly added that she would respect what Trump decides.

Trump's incoming Chief of Staff, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, acknowledged that a Romney pick would represent "a team of rivals concept". At one point, Trump noted, Clinton described refusal to accept the results of an election as "a direct threat to our democracy". The essay states that while the Clinton team would never have filed a recount themselves, the fact that Stein raised enough money from donations from voters was enough to nudge them into participating.

Elias said that Clinton would take the same approach in Pennsylvania and MI if Stein were to follow through with recount requests in those states.

Priebus, on "Fox News Sunday", called the effort a "total and complete distraction and a fraud and something that they should drop".

Trump also claimed on Twitter that he would have "won even bigger and more easily" if the US presidency were determined by the national popular vote as opposed to the Electoral College. "No one expects there to be profound change, but there's nothing wrong with going through the process", he said.

Her campaign's general counsel, Marc Elias, said there was no evidence to conclude the election had been sabotaged, but "we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported". A state Supreme Court race between conservative incumbent Justice David Prosser and liberal candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg showed the race was decided by just 7,316 votes out of almost 1.5 million votes cast.

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