NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein pressed her case on Monday for recounts of U.S. presidential ballots in three states, and locked horns with President-elect Donald Trump over her motives.
Stein sued Pennsylvania election officials in federal court, demanding a statewide recount hours after a federal judge in Michigan ordered a recount to begin there without delay. In Wisconsin, a recount began last week at Stein’s request.
Even if all three recounts move forward, they are extremely unlikely to change the outcome of the Nov. 8 presidential election in which the three historically Democratic states helped to seal a victory for Trump, a Republican.
On Sunday, Trump proclaimed Stein’s effort a failure and questioned her motives, saying on Twitter: “Just a Stein scam to raise money!”
At a news conference on Monday across the street from Trump Tower in Manhattan, Stein said every dollar she raises for the recount is going to a dedicated account for that purpose. She has raised $7.2 million, according to her website.
“We urge Donald Trump to look at the facts, not to make up the facts,” Stein said.
Stein said her recount push in the three “Rust Belt” states was not meant to change the election’s result, but that she and others have concerns about the integrity of voting systems in the three states.
Trump and his supporters have sought to end the recounts.
“We are here to assure Donald Trump that there is nothing to be afraid of,” Stein said. “If you believe in democracy, if you believe in the credibility of your victory, put down your arms, end your bureaucratic obstruction.”
Some voting machines in Pennsylvania lack a paper trail, making them vulnerable to hacking or other problems, she said.
A few Trump allies protested Stein’s appearance with her supporters at Trump Tower on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, where Trump’s offices and apartment home are located.
“I think the people out here today don’t believe in democracy,” said Jim MacDonald, a 67-year-old actuary from the borough of Queens. He held a sign that read “Dr Jill is a quack” and said he voted for Trump.
“He’s their president whether they like it or not,” MacDonald said.
Stein took about 1 percent of the popular vote, far behind Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.