The US president was heard pleading with Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn Joe Biden’s election win.
Donald Trump suggested in a telephone call on Saturday that Republican Brad Raffensperger ‘find’ enough votes to hand him the victory in Georgia.
The state certified election results showing Biden won its November 3 election by 11,779 votes.
Audio snippets of the conversation were posted online by The Washington Post on Sunday and the full-length recording was published later.
Trump, the first president to lose re-election in almost 30 years, is heard telling Raffensperger at one point: ‘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.’
It was the latest step in an unprecedented effort by a sitting president to pressure a state official to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election he lost.
The renewed intervention and the persistent and unfounded claims of fraud by Trump come nearly two weeks before he leaves office and two days before twin runoffs in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate.
Trump confirmed in a tweet on Sunday he had spoken to Raffensperger.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the way Raffensperger ran Georgia’s elections, claiming without evidence that the state’s 16 electoral votes were wrongly given to Biden.
‘He has no clue!’ Trump tweeted of Raffensperger, saying the state official ‘was unwilling, or unable’ to answer questions about a series of claims about ballot handling and voters that have been debunked or shot down by judges and election authorities.
Raffensperger responded on Twitter: ‘Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.’
There was no widespread fraud in the election, which a range of election officials across the country, as well as Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have confirmed.
Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states crucial to Biden’s victory, have also vouched for the integrity of the elections in their states.
Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two thrown out by the Supreme Court, which includes three Trump-nominated justices.
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