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Pres. Trump presses Georgia official to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn results in phone call

“WE HAVE WON THIS ELECTION!” President Donald Trump can be heard telling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in audio obtained by the Washington Post.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN/AP/NEXSTAR) — “WE HAVE WON THIS ELECTION!” President Donald Trump can be heard telling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in audio obtained by the Washington Post.

During the call, released Sunday, Trump assures Raffensperger — who certified the state’s results for Biden multiple times — that the people of Georgia are “angry” about his loss.

“There’s nothing wrong with saying that you’ve recalculated,” Trump is heard telling Raffensperger, who he says took the election away from him.

Raffensperger responds, saying: “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”

The conversation Saturday 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 that he lost.

The renewed intervention and the persistent and unfounded claims of fraud by the first president to lose reelection in almost 30 years come nearly two weeks before Trump leaves office and two days before twin runoffs in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate.

Audio snippets of the conversation were posted online by The Washington Post. A recording of the call was later obtained by The Associated Press from a person who was on the call.

Trump followed up this statement by asking if it was possible that ballots were shredded in Fulton County and that Dominion had removed voting machines: both rumors he claims to have heard.

Raffensperger proceeds to negate both Trump’s questions.

“You should want to have an accurate election,” Trump says. “And you’re a Republican.”

“We believe that we do have an accurate election,” Raffensperger urges.

“No, no, you don’t. No, no, you don’t. You don’t. You don’t have. Not even close,” Trump continues. “You’re off by hundreds of thousands of votes.”

After this, Trump points the finger at Raffensperger, saying he knows what has happened and isn’t doing anything — and appears to allude to criminal consequences for Raffensperger.

“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state,” Trump says.

Raffensperger never wavers on the call, however, saying ultimately, “Mr. President, we have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right.”

Georgia’s certified election results show Biden won the state’s Nov. 3 election by 11,779 votes, according to The Associated Press.

The Washington Post reached out to the White House, the Trump campaign, Meadows — all did not respond for comment. Raffensperger’s office declined to comment.

Biden senior adviser Bob Bauer said the recording was “irrefutable proof” of Trump pressuring and threatening an official in his own party to “rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place.”

“It captures the whole, disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy,” Bauer said.

At another point in the conversation, Trump appeared to threaten Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the secretary of state’s legal counsel, by suggesting both could be criminally liable if they failed to find that thousands of ballots in Fulton County had been illegally destroyed. There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim.

“That’s a criminal offense,” Trump says. “And you can’t let that happen.

Trump has repeatedly attacked how 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’s Twitter response: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.”

Read more details from the call here.

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