A senior adviser for President-elect Joe Biden said Sunday that the recording of President Trump’s conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) “captures the whole, disgraceful story” of the president’s “assault on American democracy.”
The Washington Post on Sunday released audio from an hour-long Saturday phone call in which Trump repeatedly asks Raffensperger to “find” more than 11,000 ballots and hand the president a win against President-elect Joe Biden in the state.
“We now have irrefutable proof of a president pressuring and threatening an official of his own party to get him to rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place,” Biden senior adviser Bob Bauer said in a statement. “It captures the whole, disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy.”
The phone call represents the first tangible proof that Trump himself has attempted to pressure a state official to change the results of the 2020 election.
During Trump’s call with the Georgia secretary of state, the president told Raffensperger that, “the people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”
“All I want to do is this,” Trump added. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
The president, who has declined to concede to Biden, had previously requested Georgia officials to initiate a special legislative session with the goal of overturning Biden’s election win. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) declined, prompting Trump to publicly condemn him and call for his resignation.
Raffensperger, Kemp and other Republican Georgia officials have maintained that Biden won the state and that claims that widespread election fraud affected the election are unfounded.
Biden has widely been recognized as the president-elect since Nov. 7, and the Electoral College made that victory official last month. But Trump’s legal team, including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, launched several efforts to contest the votes, including unsuccessful lawsuits in battleground states.
Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992. The president-elect has condemned Trump’s efforts to alter the election results, saying last month that his win represented the “clearest demonstration of the will of the American people.”
Dozens of Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate are expected to challenge the Electoral College results on Wednesday in the hopes that Congress will back the objections and send the matter to the mostly Republican state legislatures.
But the effort will almost certainly prove fruitless. Congress is unlikely to back these objections as Democrats control the House and several Republican party leaders in the Senate are against the move.