Hellbent on trying to delegitimize American democracy, President Trump reportedly made 18 attempts to get Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on the phone, before the now infamous unhinged phone call on Saturday where he attempted to bully the battleground state’s top elections official into overturning the election results.
Trump’s attempt to strongarm Raffensperger into overturning election results in an hourlong call on Saturday, which was first reported by the Washington Post, came after 18 previous attempts by the President in the past two months since the general election. According to CNN, Trump repeatedly pushed his staff to set up a call with Raffensperger and Georgia officials.
NBC also reported that during Trump’s unhinged call with Raffensperger, officials within the Georgia secretary of state’s office recorded the call. Prior to the call, Raffensperger told advisers that he didn’t want a transcript or audio of the call released unless Trump attacked Georgia officials or misrepresented the conversation.
A day after Trump’s fiery exchange with Raffensperger, whom the President berated while urging the Georgia secretary of state to “find” votes to overturn the battleground state’s election results, the Trump complained about the top elections official’s refusal to do his bidding in a tweet that appeared to refer to their private call.
I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and 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. He has no clue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2021
Raffensperger swiftly hit back at Trump in a tweet issued shortly after the President’s on Sunday morning.
Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out https://t.co/ViYjTSeRcC
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) January 3, 2021
Speaking to ABC News on Monday morning, Raffensperger said that he had reservations when Trump “pushed his staff and called” because Georgia officials were in “litigation mode with the President’s team.”
“Whenever you say anything, you have to have your advisers there. They had to have their advisers there,” Raffensperger said. “I preferred not to talk when we were in litigation. We let the lawyers handle it.”
Raffensperger added that when he and his general counsel Ryan Germany took the call with Trump on Saturday, the President “did most of the talking” while they “did most of the listening.”