Fact Check: White House Spokesman Gets Election Facts Wrong | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

Fact Check: White House Spokesman Gets Election Facts Wrong

A look at statements by Sean Spicer about President Trump's electoral victory and studies that he claimed showed fraud

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Fact Check: White House Spokesman Gets Election Facts Wrong
    AP
    White House Press secretary Sean Spicer is seen on television broadcast monitors as he speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017.

    President Donald Trump's press secretary on Tuesday mischaracterized the election results and the findings of a study that purported to show significant voting in the past by non-citizens. 

    Statements by Sean Spicer and how they compare with the facts

    SPICER: "He won overwhelmingly with 306 electoral votes, the most since any Republican since Reagan." 

    THE FACTS: Not the most since Reagan, and not an overwhelming victory by history's standards. You only have to go back to George H.W. Bush to find a bigger Republican Electoral College winner. Bush captured 426 electoral votes in 1988, or 79 percent, well ahead of Trump with 306 electoral votes, or 57 percent. 

    Brutal Attack in French Quarter Caught on Camera

    [DFW] Brutal Attack in French Quarter Caught on Camera

    A man walking in the French Quarter early Saturday morning was brutally attacked from behind. Saturday morning's attack comes less than 24 hours before a similar attack where two men were hit in the head from behind. Police say they don't know if the two crimes are connected, but the incidents have business owners and tourists in the French Quarter on edge.

    (Published Tuesday, June 27, 2017)

    Trump actually ended up with 304 electoral votes because of the defection of two electors in December, but he had won enough states to get to 306. 

    The broader context: Trump's victory ranked 46th out of the 58 elections since the nation's founding, far from the "landslide" that Trump himself has often claimed. 

    Reagan achieved true blowouts, winning 489 electoral votes (91 percent) in 1980 and 525 (97.6 percent) in 1984. 

    ___ 

    SPICER: "I think there's been studies. There's one that came out of Pew in 2008 that showed 14 percent of people who voted were noncitizens." 

    THE FACTS: First, Spicer mixes up studies. Second, he misrepresents the conclusions. 

    Man Hit By Bus, Flung Across Sidewalk Walks Away

    [NATL] Man Hit By Bus, Flung Across Sidewalk Walks Away

    A bus in Reading, England, swerved around a corner and hit a pedestrian on June 24, sending the man sliding across the pavement. The man stood up and walked into the Purple Turtle pub without major injuries.

    (Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017)

    The Pew study, released in 2012 and based in part on 2008 results, was about outdated or otherwise inaccurate voter registration records, not about votes illicitly cast by noncitizens. 

    David Becker, an author of that study, said his report never found fraud. Moreover, he tweeted Tuesday that voting integrity in 2016 was "better in this election than ever before." 

    The issue of noncitizen voting actually was examined in a 2014 study by two Old Dominion University professors who wrote about their findings in The Washington Post. 

    They did not conclude, as Spicer said, that more than 14 percent of voters were noncitizens. They said that an estimated 14 percent or more of noncitizens had registered to vote — a much smaller universe of people. Moreover, only "some of these noncitizens voted," they said. 

    Their "best guess" was that 6.4 percent of noncitizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent in 2010. 

    Even those modest numbers were sharply disputed by other academics because of the study's methodology. But even if the study were right, it would not support Spicer's assertion. Nor does it support Trump's repeated statements that illicit voting by people in the country illegally cost him a majority of the popular vote in November. 

    Protect Yourself From Lightning Strikes

    [NATL] Protect Yourself From Lightning Strikes

    Do you know how to stay safe when a thunderstorm hits? Learn what to do, and what not to do, to protect yourself when lightning strikes.

    (Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017)

    The broader context: No evidence of significant voter fraud surfaced from the 2016 election, despite plenty of digging.