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Bill Kristol: Recount an Effort to 'Weaken Trump'

By    |   Monday, 28 November 2016 07:15 PM

 Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol on Monday blasted as "foolish" President-elect Donald Trump's claim that there were millions of illegal votes cast in the presidential election. 

In an interview on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV, the conservative political writer and commentator said the claim lacks credibility — and facts.

"The Washington Post did a big study a few years ago" that was both "controversial" and ""surprisingly conservative" showing around 6 percent of non-citizens voted in the 2008 election. 

"If you do the math, you still get to a few hundred thousand" votes using that calculation, he said. "So again, I think [the Trump claim] is foolish."

"He should just take the position that the vote was legitimate and want to have it settled and get work governing the country that he hopes to represent," he said. "I'm the guy who thought a lot of things he did was foolish and he obviously won the election. Maybe this is a good way for him to rally his voters."

But, he added, "he can have some of his operatives say things like that, but really he should probably try to rise above it . . . I think he's better off being president-elect and not continuing the campaign."
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Kristol also said a recount of presidential votes in up to three battleground states is "a little astounding" — and may be aimed at casting doubt on Trump's mandate.

"I don't think they can win, but I think they think they can energize their base as they cast doubt … about his mandate, [and] encourage Democrats on [Capitol] Hill to stand up to him," he said.

"[Green Party candidate] Jill Stein just hired a man named Mark Brewer to head up her recount effort," he said, describing Brewer as the Michigan Democratic Party chairman for over 10 years, and a "very experienced political pro"

"So the fact that Stein hired Mark Brewer suggests that there's real Democratic Party muscle behind this effort which is being funded by Jill Stein," he said.

Kristol also questioned the strategy by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to publicly blast Mitt Romney as a possible Secretary of State nominee.

"For Kellyanne to kind of unleash this little hand grenade and then other people chime in… it's not doing Trump any big favors," he said.

"Maybe Trump's being clever, he set it up this way, it's like 'The Apprentice.'" he said. "Dissent, discord, his own team doesn't agree, you know . . . But it seems a little crazy."

Nevertheless, Kristol praised Trump's Cabinet picks so far, including possible secretary of state nominee Mitt Romney, retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis for Defense secretary, though "honestly he could do State too, as could [Marine] Gen. [John] Kelly."

"I think he could end up with a pretty high-quality Cabinet actually and I'm encouraged by that," Kristol said.

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A recount of presidential votes in up to three battleground states is an astounding effort - and may be aimed at casting doubt on President-elect Donald Trump's mandate, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said Monday.
bill kristol, donald trump, recount, voting, election
Monday, 28 November 2016 07:15 PM
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