WH: Trump Wants to ‘Protect the Integrity of the Electoral System’

By Melanie Arter | June 22, 2017 | 10:09pm EDT
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (CNSNews.com/Melanie Arter)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Thursday that President Donald Trump "wants to protect the integrity of the electoral system," which is why he is a “strong advocate for voter ID laws.”

“President Trump has made it clear that we have to protect the integrity of the electoral system. That’s one of the reasons he’s a strong advocate for voter I.D. laws and why he’s also put in place a voter election commission -- integrity commission chaired by the vice president, which I think shows the level of importance he’s placed on that to make sure that the integrity of all of our elections, particularly moving forward, are as sound and correct as possible,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during an off-camera gaggle.



“The intelligence community has concluded that the DNC hack was part of a Russian plot to disrupt and influence the 2016 election. I’m wondering, after the president’s tweet this morning, why does he continue to dispute that finding and call the hack a ‘hoax?’" a reporter asked Sanders.

Trump tweeted Thursday, “By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?”

He followed with another tweet asking, “Why did Democratic National Committee turn down the DHS offer to protect against hacks (long prior to election). It's all a big Dem HOAX!”

“I believe that the president said even back in January -- and I’ll read the statement from then -- that he thinks it’s a disgrace, thinks it’s an absolute disgrace. ‘As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people,’” Sanders said.

“I think he’s made it clear and been consistent that while everyone agrees the result of the election wasn’t influenced, he thinks that it probably was Russia.

“And I think that regardless, President Trump has made it clear that we have to protect the integrity of the electoral system. That’s one of the reasons he’s a strong advocate for voter I.D. laws and why he’s also put in place a voter election commission -- integrity commission chaired by the vice president, which I think shows the level of importance he’s placed on that to make sure that the integrity of all of our elections, particularly moving forward, are as sound and correct as possible,” Sanders said.

“So like I said, this morning he called the hack a ‘hoax.’ He hasn’t accepted the popular vote tallies. You guys have been touting jobs numbers that he used to call ‘fake.’ You won’t tell us where he stands on climate science. So I’m wondering, why does the president choose to accept certain facts, but dispute and reject others?” the reporter asked.

“I’m not aware that he accepts certain facts. I think we accept all the facts,” Sanders said.

“But like the popular vote totals, climate science. You still haven’t told us where he stands on that,” the reporter said.

“Look, the president won the election. I don’t know why we have to continue debating this,” Sanders said.

“The Democrats lost because they didn’t have a message. They had a poor candidate. We had a message, and the president won. I’m not really sure what fact we’re disputing here. There’s only one winner and he was it,” she added.

Sanders was asked later about the “Dem hoax” tweet and whether the president believes members of the intelligence community are colluding with Democrats or did collude with the Democrats and what he would do about it.

“I believe the reference in the hoax is about the fact that they're trying to delegitimize his win in the election process, and less about the hack itself,” Sanders said.

“I think he's said several times now that he believes that Russia was part of it, but also, some of those same members have said that they don’t think it influenced the election,” she said.

“And I think that's what a lot of this process is about. It's about trying to make excuses for why Democrats lost, and the president, I think, has been pretty clear on where he stands with that,” she added.

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