Kris Kobach said on MSNBC Wednesday that “we may never know” if Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 election. He also conceded that the same doubt over the election’s results could extend to President Donald Trump’s electoral college victory.
Clinton, the Democratic nominee, lost the electoral college tally and the presidency to Trump despite winning the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes.
When pressed by NBC’s Katy Tur on Wednesday if Trump’s election integrity commission exists because of the president’s belief that he would have won the popular vote, Kobach defended the group.
“That is not the reason the commission exists,” said Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state. “It’s not to justify, to validate or invalidate what the president said in December or January about the 2016 election. The commission is to look at the facts as they are and go where the facts lead us.”
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“So again, you think that maybe Hillary Clinton did not win the popular vote?” Tur asked.
“We may never know the answer to that question,” Kobach said.
He later explained that “it’s impossible to ever know exactly, if you take out all the ineligible votes, what the final tally would be in that election.”
“So are the votes for Donald Trump that led him to win the election in doubt as well?” Tur asked Kobach.
“Absolutely,” Kobach answered. “If there are ineligible voters in an election, people who are non-citizens, people who are felons who shouldn’t be voting, according to the laws of that state, you don’t know.”
After the election, Kobach backed Trump’s voter fraud claim.
Despite making that claim, neither Kobach or Trump have provided any firm evidence that such widespread voter fraud occurred during the 2016 presidential election.