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President Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes necessary to overturn his election loss in the state, at one point warning him that he is taking “a big risk” if he declines to do so.
In audio of the phone call obtained by the Washington Post, Trump is heard urging Raffensperger to overturn the election results favoring President-elect Joe Biden and insisting that he won the state.
Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel repeatedly told the president during the call that they believed their tally showing Biden with a slim 11,779-vote advantage in Georgia was accurate.
“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,” Trump says on the call.
The president alternately pleads with and warns Raffensperger over the course of the call, insisting that “there’s no way I lost Georgia” and claiming that he “won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” Trump tells the state’s election chief at another point. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”
“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong,” Raffensperger responds.
Trump also warns that his loss in the southern state will hurt Georgia’s two GOP senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are both facing runoff elections on Tuesday. Turnout has been down in early voting in deep red areas of the state, an outcome Trump blamed on Raffensperger.
“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.”
“So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break,” Trump asks.
The morning after the call, Trump lashed out at Raffensperger on Twitter, saying he is “unwilling, or unable, to answer questions” about alleged election problems in Georgia.