In a taped name, Trump urges Georgia election officers to alter the outcomes
© Reuters. US President Trump returns to the White House with the First Lady
(Reuters) – US President Donald Trump pressured Georgia’s top election officials to “find” enough votes to undo his defeat in the southern state. This comes from excerpts from a recording of the hour-long call the Washington Post published on Sunday.
Saturday’s appeal was the final step in Trump’s two-month attempt to claim his loss to Democratic-elected President Joe Biden in the November 3 election was the result of widespread electoral fraud largely opposed by state and federal election officials as well several dishes.
Trump’s call to Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, came after some of Trump’s allies in the US Congress said they would object to the formal certification of Biden’s victory on Wednesday. The former vice president won by a margin of 306 to 232 in the state electoral college and with a total of more than 7 million votes.
The Washington Post said that during the call, Trump took turns flattering, pleading, and threatening Raffensperger with vague criminal consequences in order to undo his loss.
Raffensperger and the general counsel of his office consistently denied Trump’s claims, telling the president that he was based on debunked conspiracy theories spread on social media about a fair and accurate election, according to the newspaper’s audio clippings and report.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” Trump said, according to an audio excerpt published online by the Post. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying that you recalculated.”
“So look. All I want to do is that. I only want to find 11,780 votes, one more than us. Because we won the state,” Trump said in the recording, insisting that there was “no way” for him lost the state.
The White House declined to comment. Raffensperger’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comments. Biden’s transitional office had no immediate comment.
The call came days before U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will head several Trump allies in Congress to disrupt the formal recognition of Biden’s victory.
Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia, the first of a Democratic presidential candidate in a generation, has raised hopes among Democrats that they could win two US Senate runoffs in the state on Tuesday, giving their party control of Congress.
Even if Trump had won the Georgian electoral college’s 16 votes, he would have lost the White House to Biden, who will take office on January 20.
Before the Washington Post published its report on the call, Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that he had spoken to Raffensperger over the phone about election fraud in Georgia.
“He was unwilling or unable to answer questions like ‘ballot papers under the table’ scams, ballot slip destruction, ‘out of state voters’, dead voters and more. He has no idea!” Trump tweeted.
Raffensperger replied on Twitter: “Respectfully, President Trump, what you say is not true. The truth will come out.”
News of Saturday’s appeal was immediately criticized by Congress Democrats, including House Intelligence Committee representative Adam Schiff.
“Trump’s contempt for democracy is exposed. Once again. On tape,” wrote Schiff on Twitter. “Pressurizing an election official to find the votes so he can win is potentially criminal. And another blatant abuse of power by a corrupt man who would be a despot if we allowed him to. We will not do it . “