- President Donald Trump pleaded with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” additional votes to secure a win in the state’s presidential contest during a recently-released phone recording obtained by The Washington Post.
- “The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” the president said. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
- During the call, Trump, who for months has alleged that mysterious ballots were added to official tallies and targeted Dominion Voting machines that were used in Georgia, refused to let go of the belief that he could somehow change the results.
- President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump in Georgia by nearly 13,000 votes, becoming the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.
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President Donald Trump pleaded with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” additional votes to secure a win in the state’s presidential contest during an hour-long phone call, according to a recording of the conversation obtained by The Washington Post
In the recording, Brad Raffensperger, also a Republican, was subject to a highly intense pressure campaign by Trump, with the president telling the secretary of state that he was taking “a big risk” by not adhering to his demands to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s nearly 13,000-vote statewide win.
During the call, Raffensperger and a general counsel from his office refuted Trump’s questioning of the vote tally, informing the president that the election was secure and that his allegations of widespread voter fraud throughout the state were false.
Trump, unhappy with the direction of the conversation, tried to shift the conversation by questioning the veracity of the overall vote tally.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” the president said. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Raffensperger replied: “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”
Later in the conversation, Trump asked Raffensperger for help closing his statewide vote deficit.
“All I want to do is this … I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” he said. “Because we won the state.”
During the call, Trump, who for months has alleged that mysterious ballots were added to official tallies and targeted Dominion Voting machines that were used in Georgia, refused to let go of the belief that he could somehow change the results.
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump repeatedly said throughout the call. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and conservative lawyer Cleta Mitchell were also on the line, according to The Post.
Mitchell released a statement slamming the secretary of state’s office, saying that they’ve “made many statements over the past two months that are simply not correct and everyone involved with the efforts on behalf of the President’s election challenge has said the same thing: show us your records on which you rely to make these statements that our numbers are wrong.”
Trump raised his alarms about the Georgia vote tally on Sunday.
“I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia,” he tweeted. “He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!”
Raffensperger responded on Twitter, affirming that the allegations were false.
“Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true,” he wrote. “The truth will come out.”
—GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) January 3, 2021
For months, Trump has publicly berated and cajoled both Gov. Brian Kemp and Raffensperger to overturn the election results, whether it was calling for a special legislative session to install pro-Trump electors who would disregard Biden’s statewide victory, or fixating his allegations of fraud on Democratic-heavy Fulton County, which includes Atlanta and voted overwhelmingly for Biden.
Trump’s deep involvement in Georgia politics will also manifest itself on Tuesday, when the state will host two Senate runoff elections, with one race featuring appointed GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock, and the other featuring GOP Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff.
Georgia Republicans have sought to remain unified for the two races, which will determine control of the US Senate, but Trump’s behavior has threatened the very comity that Republicans will need to win both seats.