The White House said that President Donald Trump would sign an executive action to begin an investigation into voter fraud on Friday or Saturday, postponing a move that had been expected on Thursday. According to a pool report, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters late Thursday afternoon that Trump returned “a little late” from the Republican leadership retreat in Philadelphia and “got jammed up on some meetings that needed to occur,” prompting the delay. Earlier in the day, Spicer had said that Trump planned to sign the action around 4:30 p.m. The question of voter fraud has been in the news for most of the week. Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to call for a “major” probe into voter fraud and irregularities in the voter rolls, two days after he repeated his false claim that he lost the popular vote because millions of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton in November.
Isolated instances of voter fraud have been documented, though they are very rare, and widespread voter fraud is virtually nonexistent. Multiple independent fact-checkers have deemed Trump’s unsubstantiated claim about fraud in the 2016 election false.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, too, said there is no evidence to support it. Sen. Lindsey Graham was more overtly critical, warning Tuesday that Trump’s allegations, offered without evidence, undermine American democratic institutions.
Still, Ryan told MSNBC on Wednesday that he supports the president’s call for an investigation into the issue. There probably is some fraud, he argued, reasoning that a probe would allow Trump to get the facts and make a judgment on the scale. Spicer told reporters at the daily White House briefing on Wednesday that the investigation Trump had proposed would review more than just the 2016 election.