Speed Reads

election 2020

Phone recording reveals Trump pleading with Raffensperger to 'find' thousands of Georgia ballots for him

President Trump has been going at it with Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for weeks now over the latter's refusal to give credence to unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud in the state. And on Saturday, the pair aired it out over the phone.

The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump continues to push conspiracy theories and repeatedly calls on Raffensperger to find some way to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state. Raffensperger meanwhile held firm.

At one point during the call, Trump, who claims he won Georgia "by hundreds of thousands of votes," told Raffensperger he just wants "to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have." He also suggested to Raffensperger that "there's nothing wrong with saying ... that you've recalculated." He then warned that unless "this can be straightened out before" Georgia's upcoming Senate runoffs, a lot of Republicans won't go to the polls "because they hate what you did to the president."

But there was no sign Trump's pleas or talk of criminal charges swayed Raffensperger even slightly — he told Trump the data he was arguing was incorrect and primarily based off social media posts, while his office's legal counsel, Ryan Germany, shot down Trump's conspiracies about voting machine tampering and ballot shredding.

Legal experts told the Post the phone call puts Trump in "legally questionable territory" since it could be construed as an attempt to get Raffensperger to doctor Georgia's election results. But ultimately they believe the "clearer transgression is a moral one," they said. Read more at The Washington Post.