President-elect Donald Trump slammed the Wisconsin recount Tuesday — saying the Democrats "were behind it" with the Green Party — which swelled his victory over Hillary Clinton in last month's election by 131 votes.
"After millions and millions of dollars were wasted, and countless hours were spent, the recount vote has come back," Trump told a rally in West Allis, Wis., in another stop in his "thank you" tour of battleground states.
"I called it a scam, but I won't say that because we want to be nice. OK?" he continued. "I refuse to say it was a scam tonight.
"This way, they can't report that I said it.
"After all of this money was spent — by the Democrats, believe me, they were behind it — OK? And the Green Party. Wonderful party.
"She got less than 1 percent, but she thought she was going to catch us," Trump said of candidate Jill Stein, who forced the court-ordered recount.
"All that money. All that time. All that effort, we got 131 votes than we had before," he continued. "I think it was worth it.
"What did they spend: $3.5 million for 131 votes? That's OK.
"Tells you how important every single vote in America is," Trump said.
The recount, completed Monday, showed Trump gained 844 votes vs. 713 more for Clinton, a difference of 131 votes.
Overall, Trump beat Clinton by 22,748 votes. He will receive Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes.
Stein, who finished fourth in the Badger State, received only 66 more votes in the recount.
She spent $3.5 million on the Wisconsin recount and sought similar efforts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but court judges stopped them.
Stein petitioned for the recounts, arguing for electoral integrity while denying accusations she was working to flip the election to Clinton.
In West Allis, Trump spoke at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center. He stood in front of a podium that displayed a sign saying, "Merry Christmas, U.S.A."
"When I started, 18 months ago, I told my first crowd in Wisconsin that we are going to come back here someday, and we are going to say, 'Merry Christmas' again," Trump said. "Merry Christmas. Happy New Year."
Trump's tour has also taken him to North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana.
He also lauded his choice of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, 64, as secretary of state.
Tillerson, who has headed the world's largest oil producer since 2006, was praised by many Republicans earlier Tuesday — many of whom have long stood firm against Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
"Rex is one of the greatest and most skilled global business leaders of our time," Trump said. "A strong man, a tough man.
"Rex will be a fierce advocate for America's interests around the world and has the insight and talents necessary to help reverse years of foreign-policy blunders and disasters.
"We're going to have somebody who is going to be very special," Trump said. "America has been caught in a cycle of failed interventions that have weakened our security and undermined, totally our stability.
"We need a new direction," the president-elect added. "My administration will build a long-term strategy for stability, prosperity, peace, and rebuilding our own country."
Trump took the high road several times when the crowd booed Clinton, President Barack Obama — even House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsinite with whom he had a tenuous relationship during the campaign.
"Tough people in Wisconsin," Trump said during chants of "lock her up" when he mentioned the former secretary of state.
He looked at Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., a former primary challenger: "Governor, tough."
Later, Trump said, "governor, these people are brutal," when supporters booed Clinton.
Regarding President Obama, Trump said he and "his wife have been very, very nice — I'm telling you.
"They've been very nice."
When Ryan was heckled, Trump said: "Oh, no. I have come to appreciate him.
"To tell you the truth, he has been terrific," he added. "Honestly, he is like a fine wine."
The crowd laughed.
"Every day goes by, I get to appreciate his genius more and more," the president-elect said. "We have some amazing things in store."
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