Washington: President-elect Donald Trump claimed on Sunday that he not only won the electoral vote but the popular vote as well, if the "millions" of "illegal" votes cast for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in the November 8 election are deducted from the tally.
"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," EFE news quoted Trump as saying in a tweet, referring to the vote recount effort in three states being headed by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.
In the November 8 election, Trump apparently garnered at least 270 electoral votes, which technically is all that is required to win the presidency regardless of whether or not a candidate wins the popular vote.
Trump won 290 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton's 232, with the votes from Michigan still untallied, although Clinton beat the New York mogul by at least two million votes in the popular vote.
In his tweet, one of several that Trump has fired off in the wake of the Clinton campaign's stating it will "participate" in the recount effort, the magnate offered no proof of the alleged irregularities he claims took place in the voting, although he said that it would have been much easier for him to win the popular vote if he had limited his campaign to three or four states.
"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)!" EFE news quoted Trump as saying in two separate tweets.
Trump said earlier Sunday on Twitter that "nothing will change" as a result of the recount campaign, adding that Clinton "conceded the election when she called me just prior to (my) victory speech and after the results were in".
In addition, the next day, Clinton telephoned Trump to say that "we have to accept the results and look to the future". he said, paraphrasing what she had said in one of the presidential debates.
"So much time and money will be spent - same result! Sad," the President-elect went on to say, via Twitter.
This is the first time that Trump has claimed that illegal votes were cast for Clinton, while during the campaign he had stated that the election was going to be "rigged" against him and threatened that he might not acknowledge the results if he lost.
According to the latest vote tally, Clinton obtained 64.22 million votes to Trump's 62.21 million.
Stein's campaign last Wednesday launched a fundraising effort to finance vote recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, all of which Trump apparently won by narrow margins.
Wisconsin announced on Friday that it will conduct a vote recount in response to the formal request presented by Stein and another independent presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente.
According to the Green candidate's campaign, there is "compelling evidence of anomalies" in voting in the three states in question and, therefore, it is necessary to verify the results in those states' counties that depend on electronic voting machines to tally the ballots.
Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, is backing the decision by Wisconsin authorities to conduct the recount despite saying that no irregularities have been detected in the election, and it said that it will also support recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan if the Green Party, as expected, formally requests them.
On Saturday, Trump issued a statement in which he called the Green Party's effort a "scam".