Paul Ryan says he's seen "no evidence" for President Trump's unverified illegal ballots claim

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, as he announced that he has invited President Donald Trump to address a Joint Session of Congress on Feb. 28. 

J. Scott Applewhite, AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that he has seen “no evidence” to back up President Trump’s claim that 3 to 5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular vote.

The issue, first raised by Mr. Trump in a post-election tweet last year, was revived Monday night when Mr. Trump repeated the claim to a small reception for a bipartisan group of congressional leaders.

Asked about the claim by CBS News’ Nancy Cordes during a press conference on Tuesday, Ryan said he has “already commented on that” and that his answer hasn’t changed.

“I’ve seen no evidence to that effect,” Ryan said. “I’ve made that very very clear.”

And when Cordes followed up, asking whether Ryan believes it will be difficult to work with a president who “believes certain things that just aren’t true,” Ryan deflected.

“Look, I’m a policy guy,” he said. “I’m going to sit here and focus on policy and I’m not going to get into the puts and the takes on all of these things.”

There is no evidence whatsoever for Mr. Trump’s claim of widespread illegal voting. Mr. Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton by approximately 2.8 million votes.

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.