Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, calling Trump’s conversation a “baldfaced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States, said: “It was certainly the voice of desperation.”
In an unprecedented one-hour phone call Saturday that legal experts described as a blatant abuse of power and a potentially criminal act, US President Donald Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat.
According to the recording of the conversation obtained by Washington Post, the US President not only berated, flattered and begged Raffensperger to act but also threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue Trump’s claims of rigged elections. At one point, Trump warned Raffensperger that he was taking a “big risk”.
Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel, during the entirety of the call, rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.
However, the US President dismissed their arguments.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” Trump said, adding that “there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”.
“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong,” said Raffensperger in response.
Donald Trump, at another point during the call, said: “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
Unwilling and unable to let go of his loss, Trump often rambled and spoke incoherently during the call, giving the glimpse of how consumed and desperate the president is after his loss, and how he can reverse the results in enough battleground states to remain in office.
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Donald Trump said, a phrase he repeated multiple times during the call. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, calling Trump’s conversation a “baldfaced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States, said: “It was certainly the voice of desperation, most certainly that”.
A senior adviser to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, Bob Bauer, said the conversation provides “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.”
“It captures the whole disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy,” Bauer added.
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