WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump again overstated the size of his Electoral College win on Thursday, only to quickly fold and blame the claim on bad information.
Trump claimed at a news conference that he had the largest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan. When told later in the news conference by NBC’s Peter Alexander that information was false, Trump did not defend the argument, which he has made repeatedly in recent days, but said he was “talking about Republicans.”
“I was given that information,” Trump said, before quickly moving onto another questioner. “Actually, I’ve seen that information around. It was a very substantial victory. Would you agree with that?”
Trump lost the popular vote by several million ballots to Hillary Clinton in November, but eclipsed the 270 electoral votes he needed to win.
Trump won enough states to give him 56.9% or 306 Electoral College votes. That places him 45th out of 58 US presidential campaigns in the ranking of winning percentages going all the way back to George Washington’s victory in the election of 1789.
Several presidents have won more electoral votes since Reagan than did Trump, including Barack Obama, who won 365 votes in 2008, and George H.W. Bush — a Republican — who took in 426 in 1988.
CNN’s Robert Yoon, Steven A. Holmes and Eve Bower contributed reporting.
By Theodore Schleifer, CNN