Trump Says Wisconsin Recount Effort Is "Sad"

The next few days could be very interesting.

Flickr / JeepersMedia

Who says the election is over? More news on a recount in Wisconsin, led by third-party candidate Jill Stein, is coming Monday, and over the weekend, the Clinton campaign said it would monitor proceedings. Meanwhile, Donald Trump called the whole thing “sad” on Sunday.

On Saturday, Marc E. Elias, the top lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, announced that her team will keep tabs on efforts “to spot anomalies that would suggest a hacked result” during the election. Elias also said team Clinton will “continue to perform due diligence and actively follow all further activities that are to occur prior to the certification of any election results.”

On Monday, the Wisconsin Elections Commission will hold a special meeting to negotiate a timeline to recount all 2.9 million votes that must be finalized for a second time by December 13.

The Wisconsin recount comes as a result of Green Party candidate and ‘90s folk music staple Jill Stein. Wisconsin, along with Michigan and Pennsylvania, was one of the three states in which Donald Trump narrowly defeated Clinton, and the votes there led to his election. Stein’s team says Michigan and Pennsylvania are next.

Elias writes that Clinton, who previously seemed resigned to accept the election’s results, was spurred by Stein’s effort: “[W]e had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.”

The fine print on Stein’s website says she doesn’t have to actually spend the donated millions on a recount. She’s also amusingly changed the recount funding goal from $2 million to $7 million.)

Trump, however, said the whole thing was a “scam” on Saturday night.

“The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems,” he tweeted.

Unsurprisingly, Trump couldn’t contain himself and stay above the fracas, even though the odds are astronomical that he’d actually be unseated. Science has shown why Trump can’t let go of such things, and on Sunday morning, he blurted out a stream of tweets, first quoting a phone conversation with Clinton, and then quoting from her concession speech.

Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change.”

Then he posted this quote from a phone conversation with Clinton:

Hillary’s debate answer on delay: “That is horrifying. That is not the way our democracy works. Been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a during a general election. I, for one, am appalled that somebody that is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceded the election on the morning of November 9. 

Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Trump then quoted from Clinton’s concession speech:

Then, separately she stated, “He said something truly horrifying … he refused to say that he would respect the results of this election. That is a direct threat to our democracy.” She then said, “We have to accept the results and look to the future, Donald Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

After that lengthy quotation of Clinton, Trump ended with a trademark “sad”: “So much time and money will be spent — same result! Sad.”

Members of the electoral college will officially cast their votes on December 19. It’s an opportunity for any “faithless electors” — party-affiliated members of the electoral college who could switch for their vote — to make history and switch their allegiance.

There are legitimate concerns about state actors — Russia, namely — interfering with the electoral process. The Democratic National Committee was hacked this summer, an act largely thought to be carried out by state-sponsored hackers from Russia. And this is to saying nothing of the flood of “fake news” on Facebook, perhaps an even more powerful form of social hacking. This recount effort, though, has more to do with voting technology than social engineering.