President Donald Trump once again repeated the dubious claim that “millions and millions” of people voted illegally during the 2016 presidential election, offering no evidence to support his assertion.
Trump’s remarks came during a televised meeting in West Virginia Thursday, where he also tossed aside the sheet of notes that had been prepared for him.
"In many places the same person in California votes many times," Trump said during a roundtable discussion on tax reform in West Virginia. "They always like to say, 'Oh, that's a conspiracy theory.' It's not a conspiracy theory. Millions and millions of people, and it's very hard because the state guards their records."
Trump has made the claim numerous times, going so far as to establish a voter fraud commission after he took office that later disbanded with nothing to show in terms of evidence.
As he dissolved the commission, Trump tweeted that Democratic state governments refused to turn over data to the voter fraud commission and declared the system "rigged."
But that hasn’t stopped the president from making the claim, which often focuses on California.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, responded to Trump's assertion in a statement dismissing the President as "a conspiracy theorist."
"His dishonesty and his rants dishonor the thousands of local elections officials and volunteers who work hard to administer our elections with integrity," the statement said. "Trump was even forced to dissolve his sham election commission, which was a waste of taxpayer dollars and failed to provide a shred of evidence to support his voter fraud lies."
While Trump decried those who would call his claim a conspiracy theory, no serious investigation of the issue has offered evidence to the contrary.
Repeated studies have found no evidence for the claim that widespread voter fraud takes place in the United States, as shown by a collection of research provided by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.