Donald Trump defended his characterization of the presidential election as “rigged” today, noting that his warnings of voter fraud in major cities echoed those of a prior presidential candidate: Barack Obama.
Trump, speaking at a campaign rally on an airport tarmac in central Florida, described a television clip of Obama he said he viewed Monday evening, showing the then-Illinois senator campaigning during his first presidential run.
“Do you remember what I said, that some of the voting is rigged? OK. Everybody knows. Check out Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis,” said Trump. “And [Obama] said, ‘This is a threat to our system. This is terrible. This is a threat.’”
Trump then attempted to imitate the president, lowering his voice and speaking at a slower pace, saying, “I know because I come from Chicago.”
“This guy is such a phony guy,” added Trump. “What a phony. What a phony group.”
In the clip of Obama aired by Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday, the future president fields a question at a campaign event in Ohio in September 2008.
Asked what he can say to “reassure” the crowd that “the election will not be rigged or stolen,” Obama first makes a joke that in Ohio, “the Democrats are in charge of the machines.” It was unclear which election he was referring to.
“I come from Chicago. So I want to be honest. It's not as if it's just Republicans who have monkeyed around with elections in the past. Sometimes Democrats have too,” continued Obama. “You know, whenever people are in power, you know, they have this tendency to try to, you know, tilt things in their direction.”
“We have a president, all he wants to do is campaign, his wife, all she wants to do is campaign,” said Trump last Friday in North Carolina.
Obama previously advised Trump to “stop whining” in regard to claims of a rigged election while speaking to the press at the White House on October 18.