WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump ripped the election recount on Saturday, calling it “a scam” and “ridiculous” and noting that Hillary Clinton had already conceded.
Trump charged in a statement that the effort was nothing but a fundraising ploy by the Green Party and its nominee, Jill Stein.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount,” the President-elect said in a statement, which labeled the effort as “ridiculous” in a headline.
Stein has already raised more than $5 million online for the recount in Wisconsin, which may begin some time next week.
Appearing on CNN, Stein dismissed Trump’s suggestion that the funds wouldn’t be spent on the recount.
“For his information, this is all going into a dedicated and segregated account so that it can only be spent on the recount,” she told CNN’s Pamela Brown on “Newsroom.”
“He may be creating his own facts here as he’s been known to do some times in the past,” Stein added. “He himself said it was rigged election unless he won it.”
Trump said, “The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, ‘We must accept this result and then look to the future.'”
The President-elect said he won Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvanian by “large numbers” and noted his margin of more than 70,000 in Pennsylvania.
“This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing,” Trump said.
Green Party officials filed for a recount in Wisconsin on Friday after reports of possible voting discrepancies in areas that used paper ballots versus those where electronic voting took place.
Wisconsin Green Party co-chairman George Martin said the party is seeking a “reconciliation of paper records” — a request that could go further than a simple recount, possibly spurring an investigation into the integrity of Wisconsin’s voting system. “This is a process, a first step to examine whether our electoral democracy is working,” Martin said.
Both the Clinton campaign and the White House have said they see no evidence that any voting systems were hacked.
Trump’s statement did not mention Clinton, whose campaign said Saturday it will take part in the recounts, joining with Stein.