Raffensperger refuses to rule out investigation and says Trump is ‘just plain wrong’ after leaked call

'He had hundreds and hundreds of people he said that were dead that voted. We found two … he has bad data’

Chris Riotta
New York
Monday 04 January 2021 15:06
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Trump bullies and threatens Georgia secretary of state to 'find 11,780 votes'

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has spoken out about the controversial phone call he had with President Donald Trump obtained by the Washington Post in which he was pressured to overturn his state’s results in the 2020 elections.

The Republican secretary of state said the president “is just plain wrong” about his allegations of mass voter fraud in Georgia and “has bad data” to support the false claims and conspiracy theories featured in their one-hour phone call during the weekend.

Mr Raffensperger spoke for the first time to ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday after a recording of his phone call with the president on Saturday drew national media attention and raised questions about whether Mr Trump violated state election laws by urging him to overturn the results.

The president “did most of the talking” on the call, Mr Raffensperger said, adding that his team “did most of the listening” throughout the conversation.

“But I did want to make my points that the data that he has is just plain wrong,” Mr Raffensperger said. “He had hundreds and hundreds of people he said that were dead that voted. We found two, that's an example of just -- he has bad data.”

The secretary of state also declined to rule out an investigation, though he noted there “may be a conflict of interest” in his office launching a probe after he spoke directly with Mr Trump about the claims. 

Noting the calls by state prosecutors who said they want to “look at” whether the president may have violated election laws, Mr Raffensperger said: “Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go.”

Mr Trump has continued to promote outright falsities surrounding his electoral defeat to President-elect Joe Biden despite scores of legal disputes and challenges to state results having been tossed out by judges nationwide. Those lawsuits, led by Mr Trump’s personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, were often deemed frivolous and without warrant.

On Saturday, after the White House reportedly attempted to arrange a call between Mr Trump and Mr Raffensperger at least 18 times, the two finally spoke about Georgia’s historic election results. A Democratic presidential nominee has not won the state since 1992.

Mr Raffensperger repeatedly assured Mr Trump the results were accurate during their call.

“It was pretty obvious very early on that we debunked every one of those theories that had been out there,” he said on Monday, “but President Trump continues to believe them.”

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