White House adviser Peter Navarro claimed in an interview on Monday that more than 379,000 possibly illegal ballots were allegedly cast in Michigan, although his assertions were later dismissed by the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.
“My top-line number at this point for illegal, possibly illegal ballots, is 379,000,” Navarro said on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. “That’s more than twice the victory margin,” he continued.
Navarro, the head of the White House Office for Trade and Manufacturing Policy, last week released his own report saying the election “may well have been stolen” from President Donald Trump. Navarro said he produced the report as a private citizen, not as a U.S. official.
But in the Bannon interview Monday, Navarro claimed he has “the receipts now” to prove that votes were illegally cast in the state, saying that 174,384 ballots were cast without proper voter identification; another 195,000 or so, he said, were the product of “inexplicable vote surges.” Navarro did not elaborate on the nature of these receipts.
During a nine-hour period on Nov. 4, Trump had a significant lead over Joe Biden, he added. Within “five seconds” at around 6:30 a.m. Biden’s “total [votes] skyrocketed by 141,258 votes,” or “30 times the expected vote count,” Navarro said, citing data from the New York Times.
“Within that same time frame, do ya know how many Trump got? 5,968,” he claimed. In another instance at around 3:50 a.m. ET in Michigan, 54,497 votes were provided for Biden while Trump only received about 4,718 votes, he said, stressing it was irregular.
In response, a spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s office said that “Navarro’s claims are wrong and demonstrate his true intent in sharing them as well as his lack of knowledge of election administration.”
“If he had proof of anything one would expect he would bring it to law enforcement rather than a podcast. Absentee ballot counts are reported in batches as large jurisdictions finish counting them in absentee ballot counting boards. This is common practice in every major election in Michigan,” according to the spokesperson.
The spokesperson added that the reason for the so-called “ballot drops” is because more absentee ballots were counted.
Larger jurisdictions such as Wayne County kept counting absentee ballots “through election night because the state legislature granted clerks only 10 hours to prepare absentee ballots prior to Election Day,” the spokesperson said. “Clerks in many other states had days or weeks to do so. Florida clerks had more than a month.”
Navarro said there was a “coordinated strategy” by the Democrat Party in battleground states of “bending the law or breaking the law” during the election. Ballot mishandling, voting machine irregularities, the violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, and “stuffing ballot boxes” were strategies they allegedly employed, he added.
“These people hate Trump so much … more than they love the country and they were willing to bend and sometimes break the law” to secure a Biden victory, he said.
When questioned about what he is doing in his personal capacity, Navarro said that he is personally reaching out to several states about alleged fraud allegations.
But Navarro stated that GOP-led legislatures in states like Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, who fail to act on the fraud allegations are failing their constituents.
He stressed, “I can’t explain what’s going on in these state legislatures other than to say that they don’t embrace economic nationalism” that Trump has promoted: “They’ve turned their backs on the institution of democracy.”
In his report, Navarro said that there was no single moment of election fraud or an irregularity that boosted Biden over Trump in key states. But rather, he said, “This was theft by a thousand cuts across six dimensions and six battleground states.”
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, recently cited outgoing Attorney General William Barr in saying that his office has found no evidence of voter fraud in the United States, according to her statement to the state’s legislature on Dec. 17. Previously, she said there was no outstanding evidence of election fraud in the state. Barr, meanwhile, told reporters on Monday that there is “no basis” for the federal government to seize voting machines or appoint a special prosecutor to examine the Nov. 3 election.
“This is the truth, as certified by our State Board of Canvassers, and it is important that every leader acknowledge this in order for us to move forward and solve many of the critical issues ahead of us,” Benson said.