President Donald Trump stands by his belief that millions of people voted illegally in the US election, the White House said, without offering any evidence to support the contention.
Mr Trump won in the Electoral College that decided the presidency, which gave smaller states more clout in the outcome, but lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 2.9 million.
Mr Trump has repeatedly stated he would have won the popular vote were it not for millions of people voting illegally, but electoral experts - including state officials - have said there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
At a press conference this morning, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Mr Trump still believed there had been massive voter fraud.
"He continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him."
Asked earlier today about Mr Trump's claims, House Speaker Paul Ryan - the top Republican in Congress - said he has seen no evidence to back them up.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called the comments "inappropriate", adding that Mr Trump should "knock this off".
Republican Pennsylvania Representative Charlie Dent also weighed in, saying Mr Trump needed to move on and "get to the serious business of governing".
Mr Spicer side-stepped repeated questions to be more specific about why Mr Trump continued to insist there was widespread fraud.
"I think the president has believed that for a while, based on studies and information he has," he said.
During a closed-doors meeting on Monday night, the Republican president regurgitated his incorrect claim that three to five million undocumented immigrants had illegally voted.
- Reuters / BBC