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Trump defers executive order on voter fraud probe

Trump defers executive order on voter fraud probe
Highlights

The White House said that President Donald Trump would sign an executive action to begin an investigation into voter fraud on Friday or Saturday,...

The White House said that President Donald Trump would sign an executive action to begin an investigation into voter fraud on Friday or Saturday, postponing a move that was expected on Thursday.

According to a pool report, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters late Thursday that Trump returned "a little late" from the Republican leadership retreat in Philadelphia and "got jammed up on some meetings that needed to occur", prompting the delay, Politico reported.

Earlier in the day, Spicer said that Trump planned to sign the action around 4.30 p.m.

The question of voter fraud has been in the news for most of the week. Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to call for a "major" probe into voter fraud and irregularities in the voter rolls, two days after he repeated his claim that he lost the popular vote because millions of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton in the November 8 election.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has also said there was no evidence to support it.

However, Ryan told MSNBC on Wednesday that he supported the President's call for an investigation into the issue. There probably is some fraud, he argued, reasoning that a probe would allow Trump to get the facts and make a judgement on the scale.

Spicer told reporters at the daily White House briefing on Wednesday that the investigation Trump had proposed would review more than just the 2016 election, Politico said.

If signed, the executive action is sure to prompt a rebuke from Democrats, who argued on Wednesday that such a probe is unnecessary and could be used to increase voter suppression going forward.

In recent years, generally Republican-led legislatures have cited fears of voter fraud to enact more regulations on voting, such as voter ID laws.

Democrats and civil rights groups oppose those measures, arguing that they are discriminatory because they disproportionately affect minorities and young people who lack government-issued photo identification.

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