WAPO releases phone call of Trump speaking to Georgia secretary of state over election results
Washington Post report on a leaked audio recording of Trump, Georgia Republican secretary of state discussing election results surfaces. John Roberts reports from the White House.
President Trump's attorney on Monday said the president and his legal team were "disappointed" that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger "secretly recorded and released" what he described as a "confidential settlement discussion" about the Georgia election results.
The attorney's comments come after audio of Trump's Saturday phone call with Raffensperger was obtained by The Washington Post, and published in full, in which the president urged the secretary of state to "find" enough votes to reverse the state's election results.
"We are disappointed that the secretary of state and his staff secretly recorded and released a confidential settlement discussion to settle the two pending lawsuits," Trump attorney Kurt Hilbert said Monday.
"While they may think that behavior is appropriate, we do not," Hilbert continued. "Consequently, we will not be commenting on settlement discussions."
Meanwhile, a Georgia government source told Fox News on Monday that Trump tried to contact Raffensperger 18 previous times before Saturday's call.
During the call, according to audio obtained by The Washington Post, the president said: "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."
According to the Post, Trump later added: "So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break."
Georgia certified election results show that Trump’s Democratic opponent Joe Biden won the state’s Nov. 3 election by 11,779 votes.
Meanwhile, the president confirmed Sunday morning that he had spoken with Raffensperger on Saturday about "voter fraud in Georgia."
"He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more," Trump tweeted. "He has no clue!"
Raffensperger replied Sunday morning, stating: "Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out."
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Raffensperger confirmed that the phone call took place on Saturday, and added that he told the president that he would have to turn to other states to find enough voter irregularities to overturn the 2020 presidential race, because there was not enough in the state of Georgia to do so.
Democrats are blasting the president for his conduct on the call, with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., saying that "his disgraceful effort to intimidate an elected official into deliberately changing and misrepresenting the legally confirmed vote totals in his state strikes at the heart of our democracy and merits nothing less than a criminal investigation."
On Monday, Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Kathleen Rice of New York sent a criminal referral to the FBI, claiming the president solicited election fraud during the call.
The FBI confirmed to Fox News that they received the letter from Lieu and Rice, but declined to comment further.
Trump’s call with Raffensperger came just days before the state’s Tuesday, Jan. 5, Senate runoffs, pitting Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., against Democrat Raphael Warnock and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., against Democrat Jon Ossoff.
President Trump has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, and his campaign has launched a number of legal challenges. The president, himself, has urged states with Republican governors and legislatures to overturn Biden’s victories.
But while the Trump campaign has challenged the results in dozens of lawsuits, judges in multiple states have shot them down. Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press last month that "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Jan. 6, Congress is slated to vote to certify the Electoral College results.
But over the weekend, a group of GOP senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said they would object to the certification unless there was an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an electoral commission; and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., last month said he would object to, at least, the results in Pennsylvania.
It is unclear, at this point, which states, if any, the group of GOP senators led by Cruz will object to.
Meanwhile, two House Republican officials told Fox News that more than 100 GOP House members will object to the election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin.
Fox News' John Roberts, Kathleen Reuschle, Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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