Jill Stein described Trump’s move as an ‘attempt to undermine democracy’. Photograph: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Donald Trump asked the state of Michigan on Thursday to reject Jill Stein’s request for a recount of the presidential election.
Attorneys for the US president-elect argued in a filing to Michigan election officials that Stein was not entitled to the recount and that it could not be completed in time before the state must cast its electoral college votes.
“Michigan should not grant this lawless, insulting request, and its voters should not risk having the Electoral College door knocked off its hinges, all because a one-percent candidate is dissatisfied with the election’s outcome,” Trump’s filing said.
Trump accused Stein of creating an “electoral farce” and claimed that she “aims to sow doubts regarding the legitimacy of the presidential election”.
Stein, who has also filed for recounts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, described Trump’s move as an “attempt to undermine democracy” and assured supporters that the recount would go ahead.
“The Trump campaign’s cynical efforts to delay the recount and create unnecessary costs for taxpayers are shameful and outrageous,” Stein said in a statement.
Ruth Johnson, Michigan’s secretary of state, said in a statement that recounting, which was scheduled to begin on Friday and continue over the weekend, had been “put on hold” until the board of state canvassers had made a decision on Trump’s objection.
Stein’s recount requests were made to states where Trump narrowly defeated Hillary Clinton, who had led in opinion polls prior to election day. Stein acted on behalf of a coalition of election security experts, who are concerned that the electoral process could have been sabotaged by hackers.
The election took place following warnings from US intelligence agencies that Russian hackers were behind the thefts of emails from Democratic officials and had been intruding into the voter registration systems of several American states.
The Obama administration has said it is confident that no cyber-hacking interfered with election day and that the result was “the will of the American people”. A group of Democratic senators has, however, asked the president to declassify more information about Russia’s involvement in the US election process.