President Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn his electoral loss in the state, according to audio of a Saturday phone call between the two released by The Washington Post on Sunday. “There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated,” the president told the state’s top elections official.
Raffensperger, who along with fellow Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has remained steadfast in refusing to overturn the election results, told the president on the call that there was no evidence of voter fraud or election interference. At one point, when the president falsely asserted that votes were scanned three times, Raffensperger responded, “Mr. President, they did not. We did an audit of that and we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times.”
At another point during the call, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows attempted to diffuse things by proposing to Raffensperger that they find a solution “in the spirit of cooperation and compromise.”
“We don’t agree that you have one,” Raffensperger responded, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Trump lost Georgia and its 16 electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden by 11,779 votes. Though Republican members of Congress have said they will object to the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6—even though allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election have been repeatedly rebuffed in court—they are expected to be unsuccessful in overturning the results, given that both chambers must vote to reject the results, and Democrats control the House.
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff lambasted Trump’s phone call on Sunday, saying, “that is a direct attack on our democracy, and if David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler had one piece of steel in their spines... they would be out here defending Georgia voters.”
On Sunday afternoon, David Worley, the only Democrat on the five-member Georgia State Election Board, wrote to Raffensperger to request he open a probe into the phone call to determine whether there were any civil or criminal violations.
After The Washington Post published audio of the phone call, Republicans were quiet on the matter. At a rally in Georgia ahead of the runoff election there on Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) refused to answer questions about the president’s call with Raffensperger. “I’m going to answer what I think matters to the voters of Georgia,” he told reporters.
Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock also steered clear of commenting directly on the phone call; instead, his campaign put out a statement slamming his opponent. “Kelly Loeffler has already made clear she does not respect Georgia voters. It is a fact that Georgians elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be our next President and Vice President—a fact Kelly Loeffler still refuses to admit,” the statement said. “Senator Loeffler has a responsibility to speak out against the unsubstantiated claims of fraud, to defend Georgia’s elections, and to put Georgia ahead of herself. She has not and never will.”