On CNN, Prof. Brian Schaffner Explains How Trump Distorted His Data To Invent False Voter Fraud Claims
Professor Brian Schaffner: Of The Noncitizens In Our Study, "We Could Not Find Any Who Had Actually Cast A Vote"
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From the January 24 edition of CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer:
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WOLF BLITZER (HOST): Let's get some more with Brian Shaffner, he's a political science professor and a coordinator of the study the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was apparently referring to when asked about proof that the president has in making this assertion. Professor Schaffner, thanks very much for joining us.
BRIAN SCHAFFNER: Thanks for having me on.
BLITZER: You were involved in collecting the data used in one of the studies President Trump has cited to back up his false claim that millions voted illegally. That 2014 study found 14 percent of non-citizens said they were eligible to vote. Why do you think that study's conclusion, based on your data, is not reliable?
SCHAFFNER: Well, what the authors did was essentially use a question on our survey that asked people whether or not they were a citizen. What we did was actually go back and ask those people again whether or not they were a citizen, and a lot of people had just basically erroneously clicked on the wrong button, and the people who we could actually confirm were actually noncitizens, they were basically no voters among that group.
BLITZER: Either -- so, what you're saying, that no non-citizens voted as far as your study, your data was concerned, in those elections?
SCHAFFNER: That's right. We could find -- of the people who we were sure were noncitizens, we could not find any who had actually cast a vote.
BLITZER: So, when the president says in the most recent election 3 million to 5 million illegal voters actually participated, and that's why he lost the popular vote, when you hear that, and the suggestion is it's based on some of your data, what's your reaction?
SCHAFFNER: Well, it's very frustrating, as I -- I'm sure you can imagine. The data certainly do not show that. We published a study basically showing that the study that the data -- that uses our data to say that, is wrong. That study has been widely cited by news outlets to basically say what the administration is saying is false.
And the notion that millions of people could vote illegally and no one would have any data to be able to show this is the case is just absurd. It's absurd that millions of people, millions of noncitizens, would have voted in 2016. It's just -- it's just not even plausible.