The US President has yet to put forward any evidence to support his claims of widespread illegal voting
US President Donald Trump has announced he will ask for a 'major investigation into voter fraud', following his continued assertions - without any supporting evidence - of widespread illegal voting during the US election.
Shortly after the election, Trump took to Twitter to claim that: "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
His comments came as Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead increased to more than two million votes.
In a pair of tweets this morning, President Trump announced his plans for an investigation - suggesting voting laws could be 'strengthened' depending on the findings.
I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
In a press conference yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer explained President Trump still believes his claims about illegal voting.
When quizzed by reporters over the issue, Mr Spicer said Trump "has believed that for a while based on studies and information he has."
The White House appeared to cite a 2012 research paper over problems with electoral registers - although an author of the Pew report in question has repeatedly stressed there was no evidence of fraud discovered.
We found millions of out of date registration records due to people moving or dying, but found no evidence that voter fraud resulted.— David Becker (@beckerdavidj) November 28, 2016
Media outlets and fact-checkers have repeatedly criticised the claims, with the Washington Post suggesting: "We implored Trump’s staff members to please drop this talking point - as we are tired of telling them it is false."
In legal objections to a vote recount in Michigan, Trump's attorneys noted "all available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake".
The claims have also been downplayed by other Republican lawmakers, with Speaker Paul Ryan claiming he had seen "no evidence to that effect".
Senator Bernie Sanders has also warned that President Trump could be using the claims in a bid to restrict voting rights.
"When Trump talks about 3 to 5 million people voting illegal, he is sending a message to every Republican governor in this country to go ahead with voter suppression," he argued.
"The great political and democratic crisis we face now in this country is not voter fraud - it is voter suppression," he added.