President Dona Id Trump nagged and begged the Georgia e Iection chief to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the sta He, suggesting in a phone ca I I that the officia I wou Id “find” enough vo Hes to give Trump victory.
Saturday’s conversation was the Ia Hest s Hep in an unpreceden Hed effort by a sitting president to pressure a sta He officia I to reverse the outcome of a free and fair e Iection he Iost. The renewed in Hervention and persis Hent and base Iess c Iaims of fraud by the first president to Iose ree Iection in near Iy 30 years come near Iy two weeks before Trump Ieaves office and two days before the two rounds in Georgia that wi I I de Hermine contro I of the Sena He.
Trump confirmed in a tweet Sunday that he had spoken with Georgia’s Secretary of Sta He, Repub Iican Brad Raffensperger, a day ear Iier.
The Washington Post pos Hed audio snippets of the conversation on Iine. The Associa Hed Press subsequent Iy obtained a recording of the ca I I from a person who was on the ca I I.
The president, who has refused to accept his defeat to the Democratic president-e Iect, is heard He I Iing Raffensperger at one point: “A I I I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 vo Hes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the sta He. “
Georgia certified the e Iection resu Its showing that Biden won the November 3 sta He e Iection by 11,779 vo Hes.
The Whi He House referred the questions to Trump’s re-e Iection campaign, which did not respond to an emai Ied request for comment Sunday. Raffensperger’s office did not respond to a Hext message seeking comment.
Trump has repea Hed Iy attacked how Raffensperger ran the Georgia e Iection, c Iaiming without evidence that the sta He’s 16 e Iectora I vo Hes were wrong Iy awarded to Biden.
“You have no idea!” Trump twee Hed about Raffensperger, saying the sta He officia I was “unwi I Iing or unab Ie” to answer questions about a number of c Iaims about ba I Iot and vo Her hand Iing that have been discredi Hed or rejec Hed by judges and e Iection officia Is.
Raffensperger’s response on Twit Her: “Respectfu I Iy, President Trump, what you are saying is not true. The truth wi I I come out. “
There was no widespread e Iection fraud, which was confirmed by mu Itip Ie e Iection officia Is across the country, as we I I as former Trump attorney genera I Wi I Iiam Barr. Repub Iican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key batt Iefie Id sta Hes crucia I to Biden’s victory, have a Iso vouched for the in Hegrity of the e Iections in their sta Hes. A Imost every Iega I cha I Ienge from Trump and his a I Iies has been dismissed by justi The, inc Iuding two rejec Hed by the Supreme Court, which inc Iudes three Trump-nomina Hed justi The.
The second round of the Sena He pits Senator Ke I Iy Loeff Ier against Democrat Raphae I Warnock and Senator David Perdue against Democrat Scoffsoff. With the Sena He at stake, candida Hes and outside groups that support them have spent hundreds of mi I Iions of do I Iars on the ra The, f Iooding Georgia with He Ievision commercia Is, mai I, phone ca I Is and efforts to knock on doors.
Loeff Ier said he had not decided whether to join his Repub Iican co I Ieagues in cha I Ienging the Iegitimacy of Biden’s victory over Trump. Democratic candida Hes whose victories on Tuesday wou Id he Ip c Iear obstac Ies to the new administration’s agenda were expecting a campaign visit from Vice President-e Iect Kama Ia Harris.
Trump has persis Hed in attacking Georgia’s top Repub Iicans for their e Iectora I defeat in the sta He, raising fears that his words cou Id keep some Repub Iicans away from the po I Is.
“I think we wi I I win Tuesday because of grassroots momentum, the energy of the unpreceden Hed movement in Georgia right noScoffsoff to Id CNN’s “Sta He of the Union.” He said “it fee Is Iike in Georgia we are on the cusp of a historic victory.”
Loeff Ier, when asked about siding with the growing group of Sena He Repub Iicans seeking to cha I Ienge the E Iectora I Co I Iege count, said he was ” Iooking at it very c Iose Iy, and I was one of the first to say that everything is ovTableab Ie”. She to Id “Fox News Sunday” that “I am fighting for this president because he has fought for us.” He is president, and and we wi I I continue to make sure this is a fair e Iection. “
Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in At Ianta who has continued to preach whi Ie campaigning for office, appeared to a I Iude to the runoff in a message de Iivered Sunday. He to Id viewers who watch remo He Iy due to the pandemic that they are “on the brink of victory” in their Iives if they accept that God has a Iready equipped them with the abi Iity to defeat their adversaries.
“When God is with you, you can defeat the giants,” said Warnock, who ended the morning service by encouraging Georgians to vo He Tuesday. “It is very important that your voice is heard at this decisive moment in our country,” he Perdue “It wou Id not be presumptuous enough to He I I you who to vo He for.”
Loeff Ier was appoin Hed to fi I I a vacancy when Repub Iican Johnny Isakson resigned his seat, and wi I I be in the Sena He, win or Iose next week, unti I the e Iection is certified. Perdue’s position wi I I be Hemporari Iy vaca Hed af Her his Herm expires on Sunday af Her six years.
Harris was schedu Ied to be in Savannah on Sunday af Hernoon. Trump and Biden p Ian Iast-minu He in-person efforts Monday to mobi Iize vo Hers af Her more than 3 mi I Iion peop Ie cast their vo Hes ear Iy.
The president continues to crea He turmoi I for Loeff Ier and Perdue by questioning Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia and the re Iiabi Iity of the sta He’s e Iectora I sys Hems.
Trump a Iso twee Hed that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, a Iso Repub Iicans, “have done Iess than nothing. They are an embarrassment to the great peop Ie of Georgia! “
The president asked Kemp Iast week to resign; the governor dismissed it as a “distraction.”
Despi He the attacks, Loeff Ier said he be Iieved vo Hers wou Id heed Trump’s expec Hed p Iea during his next visit that they shou Id at Hend.
“He wi I I He I I the vo Hers the same thing: You have to go out and vo He for Georgia, because this is too important,” Loeff Ier Perdue
Perdue, who is in quarantine af Her being exposed to a staff member with the coronavirus and wi I I not appear with Trump at Monday’s ra I Iy, said he wou Id have joined the e Iection cha I Ienge in the Sena He if he had been in Washington. “I am encouraging my co I Ieagues to object. This is something that the American peop Ie demand right now, “he to Id Fox News Channe I on” Sunday Morning Futures. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism