Trump endorsed Gregg Phillips to head up an investigation into the “massive voter fraud.” Phillips is a well-known conspiracy loon that travels in the same circles as Alex Jones and birthers. Trump says he is asking Phillips to release the evidence the two say he has to prove at least 3 million people illegally voted on Election Day (albeit, only in states where he lost and only among people who voted against him ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).
Trump used the power of his Twitter account to endorse Phillips:
Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand. Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3,000,000 votes were illegal. We must do better!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2017
Until awoken from his hibernation by Trump this morning, Phillips hadn’t tweeted since December. His first message back was characteristically awful.
Hey y'all. I'm back. Seems like the left is a little pissed.
— Gregg Phillips (@JumpVote) January 27, 2017
In the aftermath of Trump’s election, he was the go-to conspiracy theorist for conservatives hoping to find a non-obvious reason why Trump lost the popular vote by such a massive margin. Phillips began circulating outrageous statements such as the suggestion that Obama “hacked” the Georgia election system.
Breaking: Obama expels himself and the entire Department of Homeland Security for hacking Georgia's election system.
— Gregg Phillips (@JumpVote) December 30, 2016
He also appears to be the guy who first invented the “3 million illegal votes” conspiracy that Trump has enthusiastically endorsed.
When contacted by reporters he, unsurprisingly, provided absolutely zero proof for any of his claims.
When reporters asked to see Philips’s information in November, he flatly said “no,” adding that “We will release it in open form to the American people. We won’t allow the media to spin this first.”
Phillips told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that his group would not only release the full data but was also working to highlight each of the 3 million names his algorithm has identified as an illegal voter—from “dually registered” ones to ones “associated with a dead person”—for everyone, including the Trump administration, to see.
As has been pointed out ad nauseam, “dually registered” voters aren’t fraudulent votes. It’s a common occurrence when people move from one place to another. The voter rolls often remain out-of-date for a while. It does not mean they voted in two places. In fact, a number of Trump’s staff and family – including Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, and Trump’s own daughter Tiffany – are registered in two different states.
Adding more confusion to the mix, Phillips occasionally declares that the “3 million” figure is specifically “non-citizens,” a completely different issue than dual registration.
Because Phillips refuses to provide any proof, it’s unclear if he’s lying or ignorant. Perhaps both.
Phillips can also be described another way: An asshole.
As recently as late December, Phillips was suggesting Obama should be impeached for conspiracy theories floating around his head – if only there was time. He had taken to calling Obama a “rat bastard,” and he seems convinced that Obama helped “steal” the 2016 election (the fact that Trump won the election Obama supposedly stole never seems to be addressed).
There is no time to impeach that rat bastard Obama.
But hacking the sovereign State of Georgia because you are butthurt is beyond the pale.
— Gregg Phillips (@JumpVote) December 9, 2016
He also dabbles in conspiracies about Hillary Clinton’s “email crimes,” and appears to have been a fierce advocate for the Trump campaign promise to “lock her up.”
Here is some truth:
.@realDonaldTrump is going to be President of the United States
Clinton evil is almost dead.
We will fix voter fraud.
— Gregg Phillips (@JumpVote) December 4, 2016
This is the guy Trump publicly endorsed today.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images