Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said on Tuesday that he had personally done an "extrapolation calculation" from two Virginia counties and determined that President Donald Trump had likely lost the popular vote due to 2.4 million "illegal" voters.
During an interview with King on MSNBC, host Hallie Jackson noted that Trump told congressional leaders on Monday that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally, causing him to lose the popular vote.
"Let's be clear, that's not true," Jackson pointed out. "There's no evidence that exists."
"I hadn't heard the 3 to 5 [million], I heard the 3 million," King said. "There is data out there that is sample data from certain counties -- two counties in Virginia, for example, and other counties scattered around the country. And I took that article when I first saw it come out a couple of three months ago and did an extrapolation calculation on how many illegals could have or could be voting in the United States."
"The number I came up with off of that extrapolation was 2.4 million," the congressman continued. "So, it's plausible. The number of 3 million sounds like it's a plausible number to me."
"The fact checkers have knocked that down," Jackson observed.
"Well, sometimes the fact checkers have a political agenda," King insisted. "And I don't want to have a whole [conversation] about alternative facts. But I read those facts from those sample counties and I thought, 'Huh, I wonder what that could mean for America?' Got out my calculator, ran the numbers, I came to 2.4 [million]."
King, however, argued that he was not questioning the legitimacy of Trump's win.
"If there were illegal votes that were cast -- and I'm convinced that there were but I don't know the magnitude -- he overcame that," he opined. "We don't really care about the popular vote. It doesn't matter."
"There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, there just simply isn't," the MSNBC host countered. "Is it dangerous for you as an elected member of Congress who represents constituents in Iowa to be talking about this and to be pushing this kind of rhetoric? What does that do to our democracy?"
King disagreed: "I know these circumstances exist but we haven't been able to quantify it adequately."
"We're finding lots of illegals on the voter rolls when we call them to jury duty," he added. "So they're out there and we know they are voting but we don't know the numbers yet."