Trump debates Georgia Secretary of State on vote fraud in leaked phone call
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January 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Trump supporters are crying foul following the leak of a phone call between President Donald Trump’s legal team and Georgia officials, which Democrats and their left-wing allies initially claimed depicted the president demanding Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger manufacture enough votes to flip the state.
Over the weekend, the Washington Post released an excerpt of a call between Trump and Raffensperger, in which White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, conservative lawyer Cleta Mitchell, and Raffensperger’s general counsel Ryan Germany also participated. The conversation revolved around the Trump campaign’s demands that Georgia officials do more to investigate allegations of fraud which, Trump insisted, would more than show that former Vice President Joe Biden did not win the state after all.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump said during the call, which was quickly reported and amplified as Trump wanting Georgia officials to manipulate the vote totals on his behalf.
Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller soon responded that the audio was an out-of-context snippet; the Post subsequently published the full hour-long conversation, with transcript.
“They published 4 minutes and 31 seconds - where is the other 35 minutes? @GaSecofState Raffensperger is a political hack who doesn’t care about election integrity, nor does he care about telling the entire story. Release the full tape!” - Jason Miller, Trump 2020 Senior Advisor— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) January 3, 2021
While the full audio does include the aforementioned Trump quote and similar statements, which Trump-friendly conservative journalists such as the Washington Examiner’s Byron York said went “over the line of propriety,” the context also shows that Trump believes he legitimately won, and was only asking Raffensperger to investigate and invalidate a sufficient amount of fraud to reflect that.
Nevertheless, various foes of the president have insisted that Trump’s comments on the call somehow constituted a crime, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) going so far as to claim it warrants a new impeachment push, less than three weeks before Trump is slated to leave office:
TRUMP CALL: @AOC tells us “I absolutely think it's an impeachable offense and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor, quite quickly “— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) January 3, 2021
For his part, Raffensperger has been evasive as to his role in leaking the audio. He repeatedly refused to answer Fox News’s Martha MacCallum on whether he was involved in the decision to leak it, saying only that “the information is out there.” But in another interview with 11Alive’s Brendan Keefe, the Secretary of State suggested leaking it was justified on the grounds that “if [Trump is] gonna put out stuff that we don’t believe is true, we’re going to respond in-kind.”