Trump Caught on Tape Urging Georgia Official To ‘Find’ Votes
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes,” outgoing US President Donald Trump said on call.
Treading over “legally questionable territory”, United States President Donald Trump, on Saturday, 2 January, according to The Washington Post, exhorted Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia Secretary of State, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat.
In an hour-long phone call accessed by The Washington Post, Trump reportedly “berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences.”
All this, so that his defeat, in the consequential swing-state of Georgia, to the US President-elect Joe Biden could be overturned.
“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.”Donald Trump, US President
Interestingly, Raffensperger himself is a Republican. According to the Post, through the entire phone call, however, he rejected Trump’s claims of conspiracies in the state to keep him from winning.
WHO ALL WERE ON THE CALL?
The Washington Post reports several of Trump’s allies were on the call, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, conservative lawyer Cleta Mitchell and Raffensperger’s General Counsel Ryan Germany.
WHAT ELSE DID TRUMP SAY?
Trump repeatedly insisted that there was “no way” he lost Georgia, as per the report.
Trump also reportedly alleged that thousands of ballots in Fulton County were illegally destroyed to block probe, and issued a ‘vague threat’ of criminal liability to Raffensperger and Ryan Germany.
“That’s a criminal offence… And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.”
Further, Trump claimed that Raffensperger’s failure to act on Trump’s claims by Tuesday would jeopardise the fate of the Republican candidates in the upcoming US Senate elections in the state.
“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.”Donald Trump, US President
“And you would be respected, really respected, if this can be straightened out before the election,” Trump said.
Asserting on the number of votes he needed, he further asked:
“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.”
Further, Trump peddled multiple other conspiracy theories to explain his defeat in the elections, that according to Raffensperger and Germany had already been debunked.
WHAT DID RAFFENSPERGER AND GERMANY SAY?
Raffensperger and Germany on their part stated that Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate, according to The Washington Post.
“Well, Mr President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong,”
When Trump asked him why people put their votes in ‘thrice’, Reffensperger responded by saying: “Mr President, they did not. We did an audit of that, and we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times.”
Ryan Germany, on his part, according to The Washington Post, refuted all of Trump’s aspersions about ballots being shredded and machinery being moved. He also agreed to sit down with Trump’s attorney and go over the allegations.
Trump, on Sunday, took to Twitter to claim that Raffensperger “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!”
In response to this, Raffensperger tweeted: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out.”
'BALDFACED ABUSE OF POWER': OPPONENTS, CRITICS REACT
US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, on her part, referred to this latest development as a “baldfaced, bold abuse of power by the President of the United States”, reported The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, US President-elect Joe Biden’s lawyer Bob Bauer, reportedly said the recording “captures the whole, disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy.”
Litigation Attorney, Michael R Bromwich, further, stated that “unless there are portions of the tape that somehow negative criminal intent,” Trump’s best defence would be a plea of insanity.
And US representative for Virginia’s seventh Congressional district, Abigail Spenberger, alleged that the sitting President has “again sunk to an unthinkable extreme in his efforst to hold onto power.”
She also claimed that Trump is unable to accept his loss.
Meanwhile, American activist and writer, Amy Siskind joked that if Raffensperger really wanted to “punk” Trump he would have called him back and said that they found the votes Trump was looking for.
Jamaican-Americana author and comic Sarah Cooper also reacted.
WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?
According to media reports, this wasn’t Trump’s first attempt to overturn his defeat in the polls.
President Trump lost to Joe Biden by a margin of seven million votes.
Supported by conspiracy theorists, however, Trump continues to believe in unsubstantiated claims that he had actually won the election.
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