Speed Reads

georgia runoffs

Jon Ossoff: Trump's call to Georgia secretary of state was a 'direct attack' on democracy

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff on Tuesday said President Trump's weekend phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to "find" enough votes to overturn the state's presidential election results "may be illegal" and was "certainly improper and disgraceful."

Ossoff is challenging Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in Georgia's pivotal Senate runoff races; the winners will determine control of the Senate. Speaking to reporters in Atlanta, Ossoff said Trump's phone call was a "direct attack" on Georgia voters and "the democratic process." It's also a distraction from the real crisis facing the United States: the coronavirus pandemic, which is killing thousands of Americans every day, Ossoff said.

The country's hospital systems and nursing homes are "buckling under the weight of this outbreak," Ossoff said, and "millions of people [are] facing eviction or foreclosure." Ossoff called Trump out for not mentioning this during a rally he held in Georgia on Monday night — instead, the president focused on the election results and his baseless claims of voter fraud. "We need to get economic relief to the people," Ossoff said. "We need to pass $2,000 stimulus checks for the people, we need to surge vaccine distribution and make testing and vaccines free for every American to beat this virus."

He encouraged Georgia voters to hit the polls before they close, saying they have "never had more power than you have today. That's the reason the whole world is watching us in Georgia ... I want Georgia voters to feel that power and exercise that power to make history, to demand better government in a moment of crisis like this." Catherine Garcia