Priebus defends Trump's claim that millions voted illegally

Incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday defended Donald Trump after the president-elect claimed that millions of people had voted illegally.


Host John Dickerson asked Priebus on CBS’s “Face The Nation” how he responds when the president-elect makes such claims “when you know that that’s not true.”

“Well I don’t know if that’s not true,” Priebus responded.

The incoming chief of staff cited an article in The Wall Street Journal that “had a certain percentage of people that are voting that shouldn’t be voting.”

“There are estimates all over the map on that,” Priebus said.

“And here’s the problem, no one really knows.”

Priebus said “it’s possible” that millions of people voted illegally.

Dickerson shot back and disputed the claim, saying there was no evidence “that it happened in millions of votes in California.”

Last week, the president-elect tweeted about serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California. He said he would have won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.

“When you’re president, can you just offer a theory that has no evidence behind it or does he have to tighten up his standards of proof?” Dickerson asked Priebus on Sunday.

Priebus continued to offer praise for Trump, saying he thinks the president-elect has done a “great job.”

“I think the president-elect is someone who has pushed the envelope and caused people to think in this country,” Priebus said.

“He’s not taking conventional thought — on every single issue — and has caused people to look at things that maybe they have taken for granted.”

He brought up Trump’s recent tweet, charging that people should face consequences if they burn the flag. In the tweet, the president-elect suggested penalties for burning the flag could include a loss of citizenship or a year in jail.

“You watch the news media and they say, ‘Well, it’s constitutional.’ Well, right. It is constitutional, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a subject for debate and discussion for the Supreme Court to revisit down the road,” Priebus said.

“I think that unconventional thought it something that has caused a revolution in this country, which is why I think President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE is going to go down in history as a really great president.”

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