Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Trump and the Election, but in this saga, it’s also about a phone call.
Trump urged Brad Raffensperger, who is the Georgia secretary of state, to find enough votes to overturn his defeat in an one hour phone call on Saturday. The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”
In the phone call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President elect Joe Biden’s 11,779 vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate. Trump dismissed their arguments. “The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” he said. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.” Raffensperger responded: “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”
Another point, Trump 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.” He goes on to say; “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.” The rambling and at times incoherent conversation offered a remarkable glimpse of how consumed and desperate Trump is about the loss, unwilling and unable to let the matter go and still asserting he can reverse the results in enough battleground states to remain in office.
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump said, a phrase he repeated on the call. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
Trump in a tweet claimed that he had spoken to Raffensperger, saying the secretary of state 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 with his own tweet: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true.”The details of the call drew demands from top Democrats for criminal investigations. Campaigning in Georgia, Vice President elect Kamala D. Harris called Trump’s conversation a “baldfaced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States.” Biden’s top campaign lawyer, Bob Bauer, said the recording “captures the whole, disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy.”
Republicans were largely silent about the situation. Trump’s pressure campaign on Raffensperger is the latest example of his attempt to subvert the outcome of the November 3rd election through personal outreach to state Republican officials. He previously invited Michigan Republican state leaders to the White House, pressured Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in a call to try to replace that state’s electors and asked the speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to help reverse his loss in that state. His call to Raffensperger came as a number of Republicans have pledged to challenge the electoral college’s vote for Biden when Congress convenes for a joint session on Wednesday. Republicans do not have the votes to successfully thwart Biden’s victory, but Trump has urged supporters to travel to Washington to protest the outcome, and state and federal officials are already bracing for clashes outside the Capitol.
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.”
The White House, the Trump campaign and Meadows did not respond to a request for comment.
Raffensperger’s office declined to comment.
Here is the transcript of the call. Courtesy of the Washington Post.