States Refuse To Cooperate With Trump Voter Fraud Probe (Huffington Post link): California, Virginia and Kentucky on Thursday said they would refuse to comply with a request from President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission to provide personal information about registered voters. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Trump’s voter fraud commission’s request of personal voting data on every American voter “is a waste of taxpayer money” that aims to ratify a false claim that millions voted illegally. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the probe “politically motivated and silly.” Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said it was based on Trump’s “lie” that millions voted illegally.
California, which had more than 19.4 million registered voters as of February, was the first state to announce it will not comply with the commission’s request. Virginia and Kentucky soon followed. Trump’s commission on Wednesday asked all states to provide personal information about registered voters. Trump has claimed, without evidence, that millions voted illegally in last year’s presidential election.
“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by” Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Kris Kobach, vice chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Padilla continued. “The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections.”
McAuliffe said in a statement there’s no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia, and “the only irregularity in the 2016 presidential election centered around Russian tampering.”
“At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression,” McAuliffe said.
Kentucky also refuses to comply with the request, Grimes said in a statement.
“The president created his election commission based on the false notion that ‘voter fraud’ is a widespread issue ― it is not,” Grimes said. “Indeed, despite bipartisan objections and a lack of authority, the president has repeatedly spread the lie that three to five million illegal votes were cast in the last election. Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.”
Critics say that states would jeopardize sensitive personal information if they turn it over, and that the probe is designed to lead to more restrictive voter measures.
But the second tweet, landing about six minutes later, caused an immediate and sustained uproar, as it contained a deeply personal and vulgar attack on Mika Brzezinski.
“She was bleeding badly from a face-lift,” the president tweeted Thursday morning, claiming that months earlier, Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough tried to spend time with him at his private club in Florida. “I said no!”
Those words amounted to perhaps the most caustic insult that Trump has publicly hurled at another American since taking office, going beyond his usual name-calling and flame-throwing. More than three dozen Republicans and Democrats in Congress issued tweets of their own expressing disgust, calling the remark “unpresidential,” “vile, sexist and unbecoming of an American leader,” “divisive,” “unhinged and shameful” and “amazingly graceless.” Even some of the president’s close allies warned that he needed to act like a president and stop getting into distracting fights.
And by going after a powerful female journalist’s appearance and mental health, Trump not only distracted the country from his legislative agenda for a full news cycle, but also added yet another data point to the argument that he treats women differently from men.
“It is really not normal that the president of the United States and the commander in chief would be tweeting about somebody’s face,” said Liz Mair, a longtime Republican strategist and critic of the president. “It does not conform with the norms that we expect and we treat as pretty set in stone in this country, but it’s also just strange.”