Donald Trump claims 'millions of people voted illegally' in US election

Hillary Clinton currently leads in the nationwide popular vote by more than 2 million votes

Donald Trump claims 'millions of people voted illegally' in US election

File photo

US President-elect Donald Trump has claimed that he won the popular vote "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally".

While Mr Trump won a decisive victory based on the electoral college system - which determines the presidency - his rival Hillary Clinton leads in the popular vote by more than 2 million votes (final results are still due in some states).

However, Mr Trump today took to Twitter to dispute Clinton's lead:

In a pair of subsequent tweets, he added: "It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4 states instead of the 15 states that I visited. I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!"

He offered no evidence to back up his allegations about illegal votes - although frequently claimed during his campaign that the election was 'rigged'.

The Politifact fact-checking website has previously declared that claims by some right-wing commentators that three million votes were cast by 'illegal aliens' were false.

Meanwhile, the President-elect has continued his criticism of the recounts being organised in three US states - and also taken the Hillary Clinton campaign to task for their involvement in it.

Yesterday, Marc Elias - counsel for the Clinton campaign - acknowledged that they will participate in the recount process being initiated by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

The Stein campaign has earned more than $6 million to fund recount applications in three key swing states where Donald Trump won by narrow margins of less than 1%.

The election commission in Wisconsin has already received a request for a vote recount, with Stein pledging similar requests for Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Stein said "the unexpected results of the election and reported anomalies need to be investigated".

It came after a number of media outlets reported that a prominent computer scientists and election lawyers have been investigating the possibility that electronic voting machines could have been manipulated or hacked.

In a post published on Medium yesterday, Mr Elias stressed that the Clinton campaign "had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology" and had not planned to initiate a recount themselves.

However, he added that since "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".

He also acknowledged that "the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states  - Michigan  - well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount".

Yesterday, Mr Trump claimed the recount was a "scam" by the Green Party.

In a series of Tweets this morning, the President-elect highlighted Hillary Clinton's critical responses to his own frequent claims that the election would be 'rigged' and his refusal to say whether or not he would accept the results if he lost.

Highlighting the recount, he added "so much time and money will be spent - same result! Sad".