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December, 4, 2016

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Trump to fill more vacancies; recount looms

NEW YORK -- With his return to New York, President-elect Donald Trump faces a pressing need to set more of the foundation blocks of his presidency in place by filling vacancies for secretary of state and other top posts.

Distraction looms, however, much of it created by the president-elect himself, whose extraordinary claims of widespread voter fraud during a 12-hour Twitter offensive on Sunday cast a shadow over the legitimacy of an election that he actually won.

He started out in the afternoon, saying:

Later in an evening tweet he alleged "serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California."

Trump's transition team did not respond to questions seeking evidence of the claims.

The charges come amid a recount of presidential votes in up to three battleground states, an effort joined by Hillary Clinton despite decidedly tamped-down expectations that the election's outcome will not change. Wisconsin election officials are expected to meet Monday to discuss a possible timeline for a recount of that state's presidential votes; recounts are possible in Pennsylvania and Michigan as well.

There's been no evidence of widespread tampering or hacking that would change the results; indeed, Clinton's team said it had been looking for abnormalities and found nothing that would alter the results.

Trump narrowly won Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and, as of Wednesday, held a lead of almost 11,000 votes in Michigan, with the results awaiting state certification Monday.

All three would need to flip to Clinton to upend the Republican's victory, and Clinton's team says Trump has a larger edge in all three states than has ever been overcome in a presidential recount.

Still, Trump and his lieutenants assailed the effort led by the Green Party's Jill Stein, calling it fraudulent, the work of "crybabies" and, in Trump's view, tweeted from Florida, "sad." Clinton leads the national popular vote by close to 2 million votes, but Trump won 290 electoral votes to Clinton's 232, not counting Michigan.

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