Trump: 'To me, winning the popular vote is easier'

President Trump said Friday he thinks "winning the popular vote is easier" but said he focused on winning key electoral college states during the 2016 election.

Trump said he decided “very intelligently to campaign in the states that you have to win for the Electoral College victory that you need.”

“I’ve never really been in favor of it [the Electoral College], but now I appreciate it,” Trump said at a rally in Alabama for Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeGOP leaders dead set against Roy Moore in Alabama Domestic influence campaigns borrow from Russia’s playbook Overnight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force MORE (R) ahead of Tuesday's Senate GOP primary runoff.

“To me, winning the popular vote is easier, because you go to New York, you go to California, you go to Texas.”

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“The beauty with the electoral college is … I was going to all over, I was going to smaller states. It brings the whole country into play,” Trump continued. “It brings certain states into play that would never really be thought of. But I focused heavily on Pennsylvania and North Carolina.”

Trump also said he’d rather have the popular vote count instead of the electoral college.

“I would rather have the popular vote count because for me, it would be easier,” Trump said.

Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIt is wrong to say 'no collusion' 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era And the winner of the Robert Mueller Sweepstakes is — Vladimir Putin MORE by nearly 3 million votes in the 2016 election.

The president was stumping for Strange, who was endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Mueller report is a deterrent to government service Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age MORE (R-Ky.) and is facing off against ex-Alabama Supreme Court justice Roy Moore, who has the support of several former White House aides, including former strategist Steve Bannon.