Report: Trump's voter fraud claims tied to Langer


This week President Donald Trump continued his fight against what he perceived to be widespread voter fraud, promising a "major investigation" into the 2016 election that landed him in the White House.

In a new twist, however, those claims appear to be rooted in a story surrounding a two-time Masters champ.

According to a New York Times report, Trump relayed a story at a Monday dinner surrounding the plight of Bernhard Langer, whom Trump described as a friend and "very famous golfer." Langer is a permanent resident living in Florida but a citizen of Germany, and is therefore ineligible to vote in U.S. elections.

According to the report, Trump described a scene where Langer was barred from voting in the November election but people both ahead of and behind Langer in line who "did not look as if they should be allowed to vote" were able to cast provisional ballots. Trump then reportedly listed off Latin American countries "that the voters might have come from."

While the story highlights Trump's focus on voter fraud, which he purports involved as many as three to five million votes and cost him a win in the popular election, its origin is murky at best.

Three witnesses at the dinner, held for Congressional leaders, relayed that Langer was the man at the center of the story, but a White House official reportedly claimed it was about one of Langer's friends and told to Trump during a meeting with Langer over Thanksgiving.

"He is not a friend of President Trump's," said Langer's daughter, Christina. "I don't know why he would talk about him."

Langer, 59, won the Masters in both 1985 and 1993 and last week wrapped up his 30th PGA Tour Champions win at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

Update, 11:42 a.m.:

Langer issued the following statement via PGA Tour Champions about the situation:

"Unfortunately, the report in the New York Times and other news outlets was a mischaracterization by the media. The voting situation reported was not conveyed from me to President Trump, but rather was told to me by a friend. I then relayed the story in conversaion with another friend, who shared it with a person with ties to the White House. From there, it was misconstrued.

"I am not a citizen of the United States, and cannot vote. It's a privilege to live in the United States, and I am blessed to call America my home. I will have no further comment at this time."