Lincoln Project ad attacks Trump as ‘traitor’ over Georgia call

Trump pressures Georgia Secretary of State who got death threats for certifying President-elect Joe Biden as winner in the state

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 04 January 2021 18:37 GMT
Lincoln Project ad attacks Trump as traitor over Georgia call

A new ad from the Lincoln Project ahead of the Georgia Senate runoffs on Wednesday slams President Trump as a "traitor," using a recording from Mr Trump's call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Mr Trump pressured Mr Raffensperger to overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia.

The hour-long call, first reported by The Washington Post, has been cut down to a minute in the ad. It starts with the words "Donald Trump is a traitor" written across the screen. Mr Trump can be heard telling Mr Raffensperger "You should want to have an accurate election".

"And you're a Republican," Mr Trump continues, making a partisan appeal. Mr Raffensperger and his wife have received death threats after he refused to ignore the fact that President-elect Joe Biden won the state of Georgia. Mr Raffensperger also faced pressure from other Republicans to throw out ballots. 

"We believe that we do have an accurate election," Mr Raffensperger responds on the call, but Mr Trump says flatly "No, you don't".

The Lincoln Project was started by a number of communication-savvy never-Trump Republicans, including Steve Schmidt, who has worked on the campaigns of former President George W Bush, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former Arizona Senator John McCain. 

Others include Rick Wilson, who has created ads for several gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns, and George Conway, the conservative lawyer, Washington Post columnist and husband to the former counsellor to the President Kellyanne Conway.

Several ads from the Lincoln Project has got under Mr Trump's skin. Recently, an ad arguing that Vice President Mike Pence was backing away from Mr Trump to save his own skin rattled the president and made him sceptical of his right-hand man.

In the ad, Mr Trump keeps pushing Mr Raffensperger, saying that "there's nothing wrong with saying that you've recalculated," asking the Georgia Secretary of State to overturn Georgia's 16 electoral votes in an election that officials said was “the most secure in American history”. 

Mr Trump baselessly claims on the call that he won the state of Georgia, saying that "I just want to find 11,780 votes," to beat out Mr Biden by one vote.

Mr Trump called the election result "faulty" and said that Mr Raffensperger would be "really respected if this could be straightened out".

At least 140 Republicans in the House and 12 in the Senate have said that they will challenge the congressional certification of the results on January 6 cementing Mr Biden as the next President.

On Tuesday, January 5, voters in Georgia go to the polls to decide which party will control the Senate for the next two years. 

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