OPIOID SERIES:

Ryan: ‘No evidence’ of mass voter fraud as Trump claimed

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanScalise released from hospital after planned surgery GOP sold Americans a bill of goods with tax reform law Impeaching Rosenstein? Some Republicans are talking about it MORE reiterated Tuesday that he’s seen “no evidence” of rampant voter fraud during the 2016 election.

The Wisconsin Republican’s remarks came one day after President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFlynn to campaign for Montana GOP Senate candidate Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone Decline in EPA enforcement won't keep climate bill from coming MORE told Ryan and other congressional leaders during a private White House meeting that he lost the popular vote only because 3 million to 5 million “illegals” voted.

“I’ve seen no evidence to that effect. I’ve made that very, very clear,” Ryan told reporters at the Capitol, reiterating his position on Trump’s claim of mass voter fraud. 

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Trump won the White House in November by easily defeating Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge HW Bush wears 'book socks' to Barbara Bush's funeral to honor her passion for literacy Obamas, Clintons to attend funeral of Barbara Bush Hillary Clinton to fundraise in DC for public charter high school MORE in the Electoral College, 304 to 227. But Clinton won the popular tally by taking home nearly 3 million more votes than Trump nationwide. 

That's been a sore subject for the new commander in chief. Shortly after his successful election, Trump tweeted: “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.”

He rehashed that false claim — which has been dismissed by state officials and independent fact-checkers — at Monday’s bipartisan meet-and-greet with the top eight House and Senate lawmakers, according to two sources familiar with the White House discussion.

"He said 3 to 5 million 'illegals' voted so that's why he lost popular vote," said a Democratic aide.

Trump’s latest comments drew a stern rebuke from one former presidential rival, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP sold Americans a bill of goods with tax reform law Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller Rand Paul under pressure as Pompeo hunts for votes MORE (R-S.C.), who urged him to stop claiming voter fraud cost him the popular vote.

“… I am begging the president, share with us the information you have about this or please stop saying it,” Graham said.

“As a matter of fact, I’d like you do more than stop saying it, I’d like you to come forward and say, ‘Having looked at it, I am confident the election was fair and accurate and people who voted voted legally.’ ‘Cause if he doesn’t do that, this is going to undermine his ability to govern this country.”