Republicans and Democrats react to the announcement that Hillary Clinton's campaign plans to join a vote recount in Wisconsin initiated by former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

Disheartened Hillary Clinton supporters have been consoled by the fact that she won the national popular vote, despite losing the electoral vote — and the presidential election — to Donald Trump.

But on Sunday afternoon, Trump said on Twitter that he also would have won the popular vote — if a whole bunch of people had not voted illegally.

“It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4 … states instead of the 15 states that I visited,” Trump tweeted. “I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!”

Trump's argument is a bigger version of the claim he has made for months — that there is rampant voter fraud in America.

“It's largely a rigged system. And you see it at the polling booths, too,” he said this month. “There are reports that when people vote for Republicans the entire ticket switches over to Democrats. You've seen that. It's happening at various places today. It's been reported. In other words, the machines, you put down a Republican and it registers as a Democrat. They've had a lot of complaints about that today.”

The Washington Post reported that there were not widespread reports of voter fraud during the election.

In October, Trump's son, Eric, cited statistics about noncitizens and dead people on the voting rolls and said the candidate would accept the election results "100 percent if it's fair.”

Read more: 

How Donald Trump responded to the death of Fidel Castro, ‘a brutal dictator’

Demonstrators square off against opponents and police as Anti-Trump protests spread