When President Trump said the other day that “millions and millions of people” voted “many times” in California, he wasn’t mistaken. He was all-out lying.

“In many places the same person in California votes many times. They always like to say, ‘Oh that’s a conspiracy theory.’ It’s not a conspiracy theory. Millions and millions of people,” he told a West Virginian audience Thursday.

Wrong. It is a conspiracy theory.

“Again, there is absolutely no evidence, none, that millions of people voted illegally,” pointed out CNN’s Don Lemon.

It was just more “fake news” and “alternative facts” from the president. It wasn’t the first time, and I don’t expect it will be the last.

So why does he keep saying it? It advances his racist anti-immigration agenda. It started when he announced his campaign in 2015 and reached a high – or low – point after the election when he said he would have won the popular vote had not millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally for Hillary Clinton.

The truth is Clinton won the popular vote by some 3 million votes, and try as he might Trump hasn’t been able to produce a shred of evidence showing even a handful, if any, of her voters were illegals.

Lemon pointed out:

“And the fact is, the president himself disbanded his own commission investigating voter fraud back in January. His IT director, in a sworn court document, saying, ‘The commission did not create any preliminary findings.’ That means they found nothing. So they disbanded the commission…”

Trump isn’t against all immigrants. He married two – Ivana Zelnickova of the former Czechoslovakia and Melanija Knava of Slovenia – and is the son of Mary Ann MacLeod of Scotland and the grandson of Friedrich Trump of Kallstad, Bavaria. They’re probably what he had in mind when, as president, he said we need more immigrants from places like Norway, not from what he described as “shithole countries.”

Translation: white European immigrants are welcome but not black, brown and yellow. And no Muslims.

He wants a lot of new laws and a “big, beautiful wall” to keep out those multi-hued undesireables. Meanwhile, he is sending the National Guard to the border and dispatching immigration agents to round up and deport as many as they can find.

Many of those unwelcomes are living in California, and although they don’t vote – notwithstanding the president’s lies — millions of citizens in the state do and they’ve consistently been giving Democrats the majority of their votes since Governor Pete Wilson drove them out of the GOP.

Wilson was a popular Republican who’d defeated Gov. Jerry Brown for the Senate in 1982 and Diane Feinstein for governor in 1990. Four years later he championed Proposition 187, which was intended to “stem illegal immigration and address its costs by cutting off state services, including healthcare and public education, to those in the country illegally,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Seeking reelection, Wilson ran a “racist campaign (that) tapped the latent bigotry of Californians to rescue his flailing candidacy,” it added, badly damaging Republicans and “alienating Latinos in the state and nationwide ever since.”

Going into the 2018 elections – across the country from statehouses to Congress – many Democrats are hoping – and Republicans are fearing — it could be déjà vu all over again.