Donald Trump, in an expansive, unprecedented hour-long conversation with the Georgian foreign minister on Saturday night, urged him to find enough votes to undo his defeat at Joe Biden in the southern state.
& # 39; Look. I just want to do this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, one more than us. Because we won the state, ”Trump said during the leaked call received by the Washington Post and partially published on Sunday.
The recording of the conversation shows a desperate president berating Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, for doing anything to change the outcome of the presidential election in Georgia.
“We now have irrefutable evidence that a president is pressuring an official from his own party and threatening to induce him to overturn the legitimate, certified number of votes of one state and fabricate another in his place. It captures the whole, nefarious story of Donald Trump's attack on American democracy, ”said Bob Bauer, senior advisor at Biden.
In an hour-long conversation with Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (pictured) on Saturday, Donald Trump demanded that he "find" enough votes to undo Joe Biden's victory in Georgia
A recording of the call shows Trump flattering, threatening and begging with Raffensperger
"The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry," said Trump on the call. "And there is nothing wrong with saying that you recalculated."
"Well, Mr President, the challenge you have is that the data you have is wrong," replied Raffensperger.
In one of the Post's as incoherent conversation full of gossip from the President, Trump kept repeating, "There is no way I lost Georgia."
& # 39; There is no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes, ”Trump complained.
“We now have irrefutable evidence that a president is pressuring an official from his own party and threatening to induce him to overturn the legitimate, certified number of votes of one state and fabricate another in his place. It captures the whole, nefarious story of Donald Trump's attack on American democracy, ”said Bob Bauer, senior advisor at Biden
The President tweeted shortly after the call was announced: "Sorry, but the number of votes in the swing states we are talking about is HUGE and absolutely RESULTS!"
"Only the Democrats and some RINOs would dare to deny this – even though they know it is true!" he went on.
"The swing states have now come close to obeying the dictates of their state legislation," he continued in a second tweet. "The electoral laws of these states" were enacted by local judges and politicians, not by their legislators, and therefore, before they even come to irregularities and fraud, they are CONSTITUTIONLESS! "
Throughout the appeal, the foreign minister rejected Trump's claims about the election, claiming he was relying on exposed theories – even when the president flattered, begged and threatened vague consequences.
At one point, Trump said Raffensperger took "a big risk" by failing to act to reverse the results.
Raffensperger also claimed in the call that Joe Biden's 12,779-vote win in Georgia was fair and accurate.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on Capitol Sunday that Trump's call to Raffensperger was a "criminal offense."
"I absolutely think it's a criminal offense and if it were up to me items would be on the floor pretty quickly," she said. "But he, I mean, he's trying – he's attacking our choice."
She said she did not hear the entire hour but heard parts of the call between Trump and the Georgian foreign minister.
Reports of the call come after Trump vaguely tweeted about the conversation Sunday morning, claiming Raffensperger had no idea what happened in the election.
I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and electoral fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling or unable to answer questions such as "under the table ballot paper" scams, ballot paper destruction, "out-of-state voters", dead voters and more. He has no idea! & # 39; Trump posted.
He also tweeted warning Republicans of possible electoral fraud in Georgia as two Senate runoff elections begin to determine control of the upper chamber.
Georgia Republicans must watch out for Fulton County's political corruption, which is rampant. The governor @BrianKempGA and his puppet Lt. Governor @GeoffDuncanGA have done less than nothing. You are a shame to the great people of Georgia! & # 39; He tweeted regarding the Republican governor.
Former spokesman Paul Ryan blows up GOP's "Dirty Dozen" and calls on the group's efforts to block Congress to confirm Biden's victory as "anti-democratic and" anti-conservative. "
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan admonished Republicans on Sunday in a rare statement calling the GOP's planned efforts to challenge President-elect Joe Biden's victory "anti-democratic and anti-conservative."
Ryan of Wisconsin, who left Congress in 2019, said in a long statement on Sunday that it was difficult to imagine a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than federal intervention to undo the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchisement of millions of Americans. & # 39;
He also urged lawmakers to reconsider, saying, "The fact that these efforts will fail does not mean that they will not do any significant damage to American democracy."
Ryan's statement comes in response to a group of Senate Republicans led by Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz who say they plan to object to the election results if Congress meets on Wednesday to count Biden's victory on electoral college 306-232 over Trump.
A non-partisan group of 10 senators – including four Republicans – also backed out against the group's planned protests on Sunday, drafting a statement asking Congress to confirm the election results.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins from Maine, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, and Mitt Romney from Utah signed the statement saying, "It's time to move forward."
& # 39; The 2020 election is over. All the challenges of recounts and appeals are exhausted, ”the group said in part in the letter.
"At this point, further attempts to challenge the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election contradict the clearly expressed will of the American people and only undermine American confidence in the election results already determined."
Trump allies South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also spoke out on Sunday, insisting that Cruz and Co. try to stop the certification of the electoral college.
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan admonished Republicans on Sunday in a rare statement calling the GOP's planned efforts to challenge President-elect Joe Biden's victory "anti-democratic and anti-conservative".
A non-partisan group of 10 senators – including Republican Sens. Susan Collins from Maine and Mitt Romney from Utah – also backed out against the group's planned protests on Sunday, drafting a statement asking Congress to confirm the election results
Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Bill Cassidy from Louisiana were the other two Republicans who co-authored the statement
Both Cruz and Hawley have been touted as future leaders of the GOP and may contemplate running the White House in 2024.
The objections will force votes in both the House and Senate, but are not expected to prevail.
Republican Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell has urged Republicans not to raise objections. And several other GOP senators have criticized the effort and divided the party at the start of the new congress.
Ryan was the last to criticize Sunday's motion. The Republican, who served as Speaker of the House from 2015 to 2019 and has rarely dealt with events since leaving office, disapproved of Cruz and Hawley's "anti-democratic" efforts.
"Efforts to reject the electoral college vote and cast doubt on Joe Biden's victorious strike in establishing our republic," wrote Ryan. “It is difficult to imagine a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than federal intervention to dismiss the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans.
"The fact that these efforts will fail does not mean that they will not do any significant damage to American democracy," he said.
Ryan also asked other Conservatives to ponder the "precedent it would set", noting the Trump campaign's failed efforts in court to challenge election results in a number of states.
& # 39; The Trump campaign has had ample opportunity to question the election results, and those efforts failed due to a lack of evidence. The legal process was exhausted and the results were decisively confirmed, ”he added.
The Justice Department also found no basis to reverse the result. If states want to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative. But Joe Biden's win is perfectly legitimate. & # 39;
In a statement released on Saturday, Senator Romney described the proposed objections as "a tremendous ploy to turn down voters". Romney said the effort could "reinforce the political ambitions of some" but "dangerously threaten our Democratic Republic".
Romney also said he believed the Senators' "ambition has dwarfed the principle," added The decision not to certify electoral college results "has the predictable potential to cause disruption and worse."
Pat Toomey, Senator from Pennsylvania, and Lisa Murkowski, Senator from Alaska, who are both temperate, have sent similar messages expressing their disapproval.
I acknowledge that these past elections, like all elections, had irregularities. But the evidence is overwhelming that Joe Biden won this election, ”Toomey wrote on Twitter.
Murkowski, who co-authored Sunday's letter, said in a statement on Saturday: “I will vote to confirm the 2020 presidential election. The courts and state lawmakers have all done their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to warrant overturning the results. & # 39;
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse said Sunday the objections were "bad for the country and bad for the party".
Among the dozen rogue Republican senators who say they would oppose voting certification is Ted Cruz of Texas, pictured in October
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, a top Trump ally, issued a statement on Sunday against the group's final efforts
In a statement released on Saturday evening, Romney described the move as an "outrageous ploy that" threatens our Democratic Republic dangerously.
Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey also sent messages expressing his opposition to plans by 12 Republican senators to vote against the confirmation of the election results
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was the third female senator to publicly denounce her Republican counterparts
Part of a statement issued by Sen. Angus King is shown above
As part of their appeal, Cruz and 10 other GOP senators are calling for an emergency commission to be appointed to conduct a 10-day review of election results in "disputed states."
Until such a commission was appointed, they stated that they would vote on January 6th to reject voters from these states – a largely symbolic step that has little chance of preventing Biden from taking office.
The eleven Senators will be joined by Sen. Hawley, who earlier this week became the first sitting member of the Senate to announce that he would question the election result.
Cruz was supported by Senators Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, and Cynthia Lummis, Tommy Tuberville, Bill Hagerty, and Roger Marshall, all of whom will be sworn in as Senators on Sunday in the new Congress.
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, a top Trump ally, issued a statement on Sunday against the group's final efforts.
"To propose a commission at this late stage – which has no chance of becoming a reality – is not effectively fighting for President Trump," Graham tweeted. "It seems more of a political evasion than an effective tool."
Graham's comments were echoed by former Trump administration official and ex-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who said the group's efforts to stop electoral college certification were "nowhere".
"What is most important is the reason it is not going anywhere because there is no evidence of widespread fraud," he said in an interview with ABCs This Week.
"And that was determined by Republican and Democratic governors across the country, most notably the United States' Republican Attorney General Bill Barr, who no one could say was not a loyal fighter for the president."
Christie continued, & # 39; The facts are the facts. If there is any evidence, show us. No evidence has been shown, so Joe Biden will be confirmed next week. & # 39;
Fraud did not spoil the 2020 presidential election, a fact confirmed by election officials across the country.
Separately, Senator Ron Johnson has insisted that the extraordinary efforts of the Republicans in Congress to question Biden's presidential victory should not thwart but "protect" the democratic process.
In an interview with NBC's Meet the Press, the Wisconsin Senator pointed to an "unsustainable condition" by claiming that many people in the country did not accept the election as legitimate.
He argued that more transparency was needed to restore confidence in the results, which states and the electoral college had confirmed.
Johnson has provided no new evidence of voting problems.
However, he admitted that Trump's former Attorney General William Barr had found no evidence of widespread electoral fraud.
Several lawsuits filed by Trump's legal team have been repeatedly dismissed, with no evidence from the Supreme Court or Trump-appointed judges who ruled the lawsuits.
When Johnson insisted that "tens of millions of people" believe the presidential election was "stolen," NBC's Chuck Todd suggested that Johnson "look in the mirror" as to why.
Todd interrupted Johnson's unsubstantiated claims.
Then he said to Johnson, "You cannot make these claims, which have not been proven to be true."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Messages (t) Joe Biden (t) Donald Trump