Election 2016

Carl Bernstein Blasts Trump's Unhinged Voter Fraud Claim: 'More Paranoid Than Nixon'

Plenty of Republicans agree; Trump's tweet is nuts.

Photo Credit: Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia Commons

In one of his first official acts, acting on a tip from insane conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars website, President-elect Donald Trump attempted to distract from his rampant conflicts of interest to spread the malignant lie of massive voter fraud.

The tweeter-in-chief was unable to suppress his desire to lash out at Hillary Clinton's two-million-and-counting popular vote tally over Trump's, especially in light of the fact that there will now be a recount in three key swing states: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. On Sunday, Trump 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." He alleged that this supposed fraud occurred in Virginia, California and New York, three states he lost, the last two by what can only be described as humiliating margins.

A less-frequent tweeter, legendary Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, could not restrain himself from responding. "This factless madness shows @realDonaldTrump to be unhinged. If PresNixon had a Twitter account it would not reflect this much paranoia," Bernstein wrote pointedly.

Nixon with a Twitter account is something to ponder.  

Bernstein was hardly alone in pointing out that Trump's absurd claim has no basis in reality. GOP Senator Tom Lankford told CNN: “I’ve not seen any voter irregularity in the millions. There’s always some on the edges, but I’ve not seen anything on the [level of] millions, I don’t know what he was talking about.”

Another official, Tom Rath, a longtime Republican adviser and former attorney general of New Hampshire, expressed himself on Twitter Sunday evening: “This will probably cost me my spot in the Cabinet but there was no fraud, serious or other, in this election in NH,” Rath tweeted. “There just wasn’t.”

There is zero evidence of the degree of voter fraud Trump is spouting, or even a lesser degree. Voter fraud is a well-worn right-wing canard designed to demonize undocumented immigrants and lay the groundwork for future voter suppression efforts. On the other hand, there is some evidence that the vote tallies in Wisconsin might have been tampered with, which is why Jill Stein's Green Party has launched a recount.