New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Monday that the presidential election was "illegitimate" and "tainted" by both Russian President Vladimir Putin and FBI Director James Comey.
"So this was a tainted election," Krugman, also an economics professor at the City University of New York, wrote in his semiweekly column. "It was not, as far as we can tell, stolen in the sense that votes were counted wrong, and the result won’t be overturned.
"But the result was nonetheless illegitimate in important ways; the victor was rejected by the public, and won the Electoral College only thanks to foreign intervention and grotesquely inappropriate, partisan behavior on the part of domestic law enforcement."
He goes on to argue that outside forces both international and domestic helped swing the election against Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE and for Republican Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE.
"Did the combination of Russian and F.B.I. intervention swing the election? Yes. Mrs. Clinton lost three states — Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — by less than a percentage point, and Florida by only slightly more," Krugman wrote.
"If she had won any three of those states, she would be president-elect. Is there any reasonable doubt that Putin/Comey made the difference?"
Krugman has been one of Trump's harshest critics since the businessman announced his candidacy, once comparing him to Benito Mussolini, the former Italian fascist dictator.