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President Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to recalculate the election tally in the Peach State to “find” enough votes to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win, according to recordings of the heated call published Sunday.
Recordings of the conversation were published by the Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution just hours after Trump tweeted about the call, griping that Raffensperger had been “unwilling, or unable” to look into claims of voter fraud.
During the call Saturday with Raffensperger and his general counsel, Ryan Germany,
the president repeated allegations that ballot boxes were stuffed and that he had actually won the election.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” Trump said in the taped call, recordings that were obtained by the Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
But Raffensperger, a Republican, disputed Trump’s contention, saying “the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong,” he said.
“So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” the president said.
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump said. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
In Trump’s Sunday tweet he declared that Raffensperger “has no clue!”
“I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. 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,” Trump said in the posting.
He also warned of “rampant” political corruption in Fulton County and called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, both Republicans, ”a disgrace to the great people of Georgia!”
On the call with Trump were White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer, who had not been previously connected to the Trump campaign effort.
In a statement, Mitchell said Raffensperger’s office “has 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.”
At one point during the hour-long call, Trump said Raffensperger and Germany were taking a “big risk” and suggested that he would face criminal charges if they didn’t find that votes in Fulton County had been destroyed.
“That’s a criminal offense,” the president said. “And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.”
He also told the Georgia secretary of state that his failure to act would jeopardize Tuesday’s runoff election in Georgia for Republican incumbents Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — elections that will determine which party controls the Senate.
Trump is scheduled to hold a rally for the two Republicans in Dalton, Ga., on Monday.
“You have a big election coming up and because of what you’ve done to the president — you know, the people of Georgia know that this was a scam,” Trump said.
“Because of what you’ve done to the president, a lot of people aren’t going out to vote, and a lot of Republicans are going to vote negative, because they hate what you did to the president. Okay? They hate it. And they’re going to vote. And you would be respected, really respected, if this can be straightened out before the election,” Trump told Raffensperger.
The existence of the call comes just days before scores of Republicans in the House and Senate said they intend to contest Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote that gave Biden 306 votes over Trump’s 232 on Wednesday.
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