In a phone call Saturday, US President Donald Trump urged Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes,” accusing him of unlawfully reporting false election results.
The Washington Post released an audio recording of the entire hour-long call Sunday, as well as a transcript, but edited the name of an individual to whom the president had made reference with “unsubstantiated claims.”
Throughout the call, Trump repeatedly stated that he needed to “find” votes in Georgia. Specifically, Trump stated that he just “want[ed] to find 11,780 votes,” enough to overturn the election results in Georgia.
Trump accused Raffensperger and his legal counsel of allowing illegal election tampering.
And you are going to find that they are — which is totally illegal — it is more illegal for you than it is for them because, you know, what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. And that’s a big risk. But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard. And they are removing machinery, and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. 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.
Trump repeatedly pressed Raffensperger to “recalculate” the votes, arguing that the ballots were inaccurately and illegally tallied. “Well, you have to. Well, under law, you’re not allowed to give faulty election results, okay? You’re not allowed to do that. And that’s what you done. This is a faulty election result.”
Trump additionally accused Raffensperger of taking a “side” in the election: “I don’t even know why you have a side because you should want to have an accurate election. And you’re a Republican.” Raffensperger replied by stating, “We believe that we do have an accurate election,” to which Trump responded “No, no you don’t. No, no you don’t. You don’t have. Not even close.”
Trump concluded, “the real truth is, I won by 400,000 votes. At least. That’s the real truth. But we don’t need 400,000 votes. We need less than 2,000 votes.”