President-elect Donald Trump dismissed a recount effort being spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein as a “scam” Saturday as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton offered the initiative her support.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount,” Mr. Trump said in a statement released by his transition team Saturday afternoon.
“This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing,” Mr. Trump continued.
The New York Republican’s remark occurred in the wake of the Green Party candidate having raised more than $5 million in recent days after asking supporters to help fund recounts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Earlier Saturday, Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign said it would cooperate with the Green Party candidate’s effort.
“Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we 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,” Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias said in a blog post.
“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,” he added. “We feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process.”
Kellannye Conway, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, rebuked the Clinton campaign Saturday for supporting the Green Party’s efforts.
“What a pack of sore losers,” she said in a statement to Bloomberg. “After asking Mr. Trump and his team a million times on the trail, ‘Will HE accept the election results?’ it turns out Team Hillary and their new BFF Jill Stein can’t accept reality.”
Mr. Trump was elected president after winning 306 electoral votes on Nov. 8 to Mrs. Clinton’s 232. Subsequent tallying has indicated that registered voters cast roughly 2.2 million more ballots for the Democratic candidate than for her GOP rival.