President Trump Pressures Georgia's Secretary of State to 'Find 11,780 Votes' in Leaked Audio
"There's nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you've recalculated," President Donald Trump can be heard saying to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
On Saturday, The Washington Post obtained a one-hour long phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the president could be heard pressuring the Republican official to "find" more votes in his favor to win the state.
Throughout the call, Trump also could be heard imploring Raffensperger to recalculate the vote and sounding adamant about the fact that he actually won the state over President-elect Joe Biden, according to the Post which reported that Raffensperger and his lawyer, Ryan Germany, repeatedly denied Trump's claims of a fraudulent election and insisted the vote count was accurate.
The White House did not provide a comment.
"The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry," Trump could be heard saying to Raffensperger in the audio clip. "And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated."
Raffensperger replied, "Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong."
During another point in the call, Trump was heard saying, "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."
"There’s no way I lost Georgia," Trump added. "There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes."
Ahead of the Post publishing the transcript of the call, Trump wrote on Twitter that he had spoken with Raffensperger on Saturday, claiming that 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 to the tweet with his own statement: "Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out."
Biden won Georgia with an 11,779-vote victory over Trump and the President-elect received more than 81 million votes, the most votes ever cast for a presidential candidate in U.S. history.
Meanwhile, Trump received some 74 million votes, the second-highest total, reflecting the high levels of interest in the election and the historic number of mail ballots during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump has continually alleged that the election results were fraudulent. He offered no proof and both the courts and investigators resoundingly rejected his complaints and those of his allies. Local elections officials from both parties said they found no widespread fraud.
In December, Biden defeated Trump 306-232 in the Electoral College. However, a group of Republican representatives plans to object to the Electoral College results during a Jan. 6 congressional meeting to officially count the electors' votes showing Biden's win.
According to public statements on Twitter, Reps. Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks and Jody Hice are among those who plan to object to the votes.
When both chambers meet on Jan. 6, any state’s results can be challenged if one member each from the House and the Senate agree in writing that they wish to debate that state’s count, according to the Associated Press. Then, lawmakers would separate into two chambers and discuss the issue before reconvening to vote — for or against — throwing out that state’s vote.
Both the House and the Senate would need to approve the motion with a majority vote.
The Republican challenge, should it proceed, is almost certain to be futile as Democratic lawmakers hold the majority in the House. A number of GOP senators have also recently both acknowledged Biden’s victory and advised against their colleagues from continuing to support Trump’s complaints and challenges — wary of forcing a public vote in which Republicans would either have to side against the outgoing president or agree to overturn the will of the voters.