Commentary: This is why Trump is lying about voter fraud and crime

Commentary: This is why Trump is lying about voter fraud and crime
February 23
00:00 2017

There are two subjects in particular that the Trump Administration lies about the most: crime and voting.

During a recent interview on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, President Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller lied about voter fraud during the 2016 elections.

Miller said that, “And you have 14 percent of noncitizens, according to academic research, at a minimum, are registered to vote, which is an astonishing statistic.”

That statement is simply false. Miller couldn’t produce a single shred of evidence when Stephanopoulos pressed him on the subject.

But Miller was just repeating what his boss said shortly before the election.

At a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 23, 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump said that, “14 percent of noncitizens are registered to vote.”

President Trump entered office lying about voter fraud and threatening an investigation. Civil rights leaders have called for an investigation of voter suppression during the 2016 presidential election. More recently, the lying crossed over into the topic of an increased “crime wave” that doesn’t exist. Now, the lies about a vast American crime wave and record-levels of illegal voting seem to be coming together.

On Jan. 23, during a meeting with members of Congress and the White House, President Trump lied about voting again. Trump and his 31 year-old aide Stephen Miller, who was sent out on all the Sunday morning talk shows on Feb. 12, appear to be lying for two reasons. First, Trump can’t come to terms with the fact that Hillary Clinton received almost 3 million more votes than he did, and second, the Trump Administration would appear to be laying the groundwork to justify a new law that would make it harder for people to vote, particularly minorities.

Trump’s attorney general, former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, had a history of prosecuting African- Americans, who were registering too many other African-Americans to vote, as an assistant U.S. attorney. Having provided no explanation or apology for his past prosecutions, particularly that of the late Albert Turner Sr., there’s no reason to believe that Sessions won’t pick up where he left off in Alabama in the 1970s.

Even though, Sessions’ past statements and actions as a prosecutor in Alabama are clear, the public perception of Sessions, the man, is mixed.

Turner’s son, Albert Turner, Jr., issued a statement endorsing Sessions that said, “I believe that he is someone with whom I, and others in the civil rights community can work with if given the opportunity.”

Still, American history of the disenfranchisement of African-American (and other minority) voters is also clear. In the late 1800s, it was a poll tax, literacy tests and other requirements that Black voters were unlikely to meet. Today it’s voter ID, closing polling places, cutting Sunday voting and purging voting rolls.

The continued strategy used by present day Republicans is still the “Southern Strategy” — they’ve just added Hispanics to the list of targets. The Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids started only two days after Attorney General Sessions was sworn-in.

Many immigrant rights advocates knew the raids were not routine before anyone communicated anything.

Republicans have lost the popular vote over two presidential elections since 2000. The demographics in the country are becoming more Black and Brown and researchers estimate that the share of White voters will fall a few percentage points every four years.

Trump, Stephen Miller and many others in the Republican Party are well aware of the math.

Lauren Victoria Burke is a political analyst who speaks on politics and African-American leadership. She is also a frequent contributor to the NNPA Newswire and Connect with Lauren by email at and on Twitter at @LVBurke.

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