President Donald Trump searches for votes in phone call to Georgia

Ariana Bruno

‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’ said lame-duck president, Donald Trump.

On Saturday, January 2, Donald Trump held an hour-long call with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary. In the call, Trump urged Raffensperger to alter the outcome of the presidential votes in the state. This was after Biden was declared to have won the race by multiple news outlets. Congress is set to provide a final count on the night of January 6.

The Washington Post managed to get a recording of the conversation. In the recording, Trump scolded Raffensperger, trying to edge and threaten him with criminal consequences if the secretary of the state refused to change the votes. Raffensperger said that Trump was taking “a big risk.”

As the call went on, Raffensperger and his office’s general had rejected Trump’s request, explaining that the president was relying on debunked conspiracy theories about Biden’s win on that state. However, Trump decided that he wanted to neglect their arguments on the situation.

“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” Trump said. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

Raffensperger responded by saying, “the data you have is wrong.” Later on, in the phone call, Trump asked for them to find 11,780 votes because “we won the state.” Trump claimed that he could reverse the results, meaning that he’d have more so he could remain in office for another term.

The president kept repeating the phrases, “There’s no way I lost Georgia,” and “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.” Several allies of his campaign were with Trump during the call.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted out that he spoke to Raffensperger saying 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 by saying, “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true.” As of January 6, Trump’s Twitter account has been locked for the next 12+ hours due to letting out false information on the election. Twitter warned that he could be banned.

During the conversation, Trump kept issuing vague threats to Raffensperger. Along with Raffensperger, he kept issuing those threats to Ryan Germany, the secretary of the state’s general counsel. Trump suggested that if they don’t find that thousands of ballots in Fulton County have been illegally destroyed to block investigators then there would be an allegation (for which there is no evidence). Then they would be subjected to criminal liability.

“That’s a criminal offense,” Trump said. “And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and Ryan, your lawyer.”

Republicans, however, were largely silent on the situation between Trump and Raffensperger. When Ted Cruz was asked about the call while campaigning in Georgia on Sunday, he gave no response.

Trump kept denouncing the votes on Georgia, claiming it was a scam and that he should have won. Roughly after an hour had passed, Raffensperger put an end to the conversation by saying, “Thank you, President Trump, for your time.”