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President-elect Donald Trump denounced the effort to recount votes in 3 states as a "scam" engineered by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, calling on voters to accept the election's results, which he insisted would not be changed by new ballot counts.
On Saturday, the campaign of Democratic contender Hillary Clinton said it would back Stein's efforts to take a fresh look at voting results in Wisconsin, a crucial swing state that narrowly backed Trump over Clinton, as well as in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Stein has been raising millions for more than a week—more than she did for her entire campaign, in fact.
In a statement, however, Trump blasted the effort as a way for Stein to "fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount. All three states were won by large numbers of voters, especially Pennsylvania, which was won by more than 70,000 votes," Trump said.
"This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing," the president-elect added.
The Clinton team had been quiet about Stein's crusade, but campaign lawyer Marc Elias said that because a recount was set into motion Friday — and could begin as soon as next week — they want to see a "fair" process for all involved.
"Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves," Elias wrote in a Medium post explaining the decision, "but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides."
Unlike the hotly contested 2000 presidential race, where the result of the George W. Bush vs. Al Gore contest hinged solely on Florida's electoral college votes, Trump won most of the swing states in play, albeit by narrow margins, and also holds a commanding electoral college lead.
However, Clinton won the overall national popular vote by around 2 million ballots, a factor that appears to be emboldening supporters who refuse to accept Trump's legitimacy.
"It is important to point out that with the help of millions of voters across the country, we won 306 electoral votes on Election Day— the most of any Republican since 1988— and we carried nine of 13 battleground states, 30 of 50 states, and more than 2,600 counties nationwide - the most since President Ronald Reagan in 1984," said Trump in his statement.
Earlier this week, speculation that electronic voting may have been tampered with in key states stoked new calls from Clinton backers for her to contest the election results. A few have even called for electoral college voters to 'vote their conscience' by tipping their votes to Clinton.
--NBC News contributed to this article.