Speed Reads

georgia runoffs

Perdue defends Trump's request to Georgia secretary of state, calls leak of recording 'disgusting'

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Monday said he had no problem with President Trump calling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to pressure him into overturning the state's election results.

"I didn't hear anything in that tape that the president hasn't already said for weeks now since the November election, calling for some sort of investigation," Perdue said during an appearance on Fox News. Perdue said he thinks Trump is just trying to say that "a lot of people in Georgia and 75 million Americans, I think, align with him right now, that something untoward happened here in Georgia and we have not gotten to the bottom of it."

The real problem, Perdue argued, is that the phone call was recorded and released to the media — that was "disgusting," he said. Perdue made his comments during last-minute campaigning ahead of Tuesday's Senate runoff races. Perdue, who is in quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19, will face off against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

The Washington Post and other news organizations obtained a recording of the phone call on Sunday. In the conversation, Trump made several baseless allegations about the election, including that the ballots were "corrupt," and he said Raffensperger should "find" enough votes to overturn the results, giving Trump the win instead of President-elect Joe Biden. Several Republican officials in Georgia, including Raffensperger, Gov. Brian Kemp, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, have said there is no evidence of widespread fraud.

During a Monday interview with CNN, Duncan said Trump's call was "inappropriate" and "based on misinformation" and "theories that have been debunked and disproved over the course of the last 10 weeks." He also argued it "certainly did not help" Perdue or Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) ahead of Tuesday's runoffs.