President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE directly asked Georgia's top elections officials to overturn his defeat to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE in the state during a Saturday phone call, according to audio posted Sunday by The Washington Post.
During the conversation, the president repeatedly asked Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to "find" more than 11,000 ballots needed to overcome the gap between Trump and Biden in the state, thereby flipping the state in his favor.
"The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated," Trump told Raffensperger before questioning the secretary about a "rumor" that ballots for him were "shredded" in Fulton County, which is home to Atlanta, the state's largest city and a major Democratic bastion.
"All I want to do is this," the president continued. "I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state."
The secretary is heard in the limited audio released by the Post rejecting the president's claims, calling his supposed data "wrong" and indicating that he would not bow to the president's wishes.
At another point in the call, the audio reported by the Post reveals that Trump linked his fate in the state, as well as Raffensperger's actions in the days ahead, to whether Georgia GOP Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock picks up major abortion rights group's endorsement in reelection bid Trump endorses Hershel Walker for Georgia Senate seat Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race MORE and David PerdueDavid PerdueTrump stokes GOP tensions in Georgia GOP sees Biden crises as boon for midterm recruitment Trump campaign, RNC refund donors another .8 million in 2021: NYT MORE would hold on to their seats in the state's upcoming runoff election, which is days away.
"You have a big election coming up and because of what you’ve done to the president — you know, the people of Georgia know that this was a scam. Because of what you’ve done to the president, a lot of people aren’t going out to vote, and a lot of Republicans are going to vote negative, because they hate what you did to the president," the president told Raffensperger before adding that the Republican official would be "respected, really respected, if this can be straightened out before the election."
The audio is the first actual evidence of the president's attempts to directly pressure a state official to overturn the results of the 2020 election, though he has called for Georgia officials, including Gov. Brian KempBrian KempTrump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Trump stokes GOP tensions in Georgia Georgia faculty members to require masks in classrooms MORE (R), to call a special legislative session for the purpose of overturning the state's results on Twitter in recent weeks. He has also publicly called for Kemp to resign.
Trump's legal team, headed by his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThree Democrats call for investigation into Sidney Powell to move 'swiftly' Fox News bans Rudy Giuliani from appearing: report Alabama official dismisses Lindell claim that 100K votes were flipped from Trump to Biden: 'It's not possible' MORE, has also made legal efforts in several states seeking to block the certification of the 2020 election results, with no success.