President Donald Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger “to find” enough votes for him to win the state via recount, according to a phone conversation obtained by the Washington Post.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Trump told Raffensperger on the Jan. 2 phone call. Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden by 11,779 votes in Georgia.
During the call, the president questioned whether Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta, “shredded ballots.” Biden outperformed Trump in Fulton County by 244,204 votes.
Raffensperger pushed back against Trump’s assertions of voter fraud. “Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong,” he said in the call.
The president also referenced a conspiracy theory, telling lawyer Ryan Germany, who was also on the call, that Dominion Voting Services is “removing machinery, and they’re removing it as fast as they can.” (RELATED: Top Dominion Employee Sues Trump Campaign, Sidney Powell, News Outlets For Defamation)
Trump and Raffensperger traded tweets about the call before the Washington Post released the audio.
Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out https://t.co/ViYjTSeRcC
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) January 3, 2021
Trump has criticized both Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in the aftermath of his election loss, despite the fact that he endorsed both state officials in their 2018 elections. In a November Fox News interview, Trump said he was “ashamed” he endorsed Kemp.
Complaints from Trump and others about voter fraud come as both Georgia Senate elections will be decided by runoff. Republicans must win one out of the two races to maintain control of the Senate. (RELATED: Tim Scott: Georgia Runoffs Are More ‘More Consequential’ Politically ‘Than Anything We’ve Ever Seen In Our Lifetime’)
Raffensperger is not the only state official who Trump has questioned about the election outcome. The president invited the Michigan state House speaker and state Senate majority leader to the White House amid an effort to convince that state not to appoint Biden electors, according to The Detroit News. The office of Pennsylvania State Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler confirmed to the Washington Post that Trump made a similar request to him.
President Trump won Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in 2016 but not in 2020.