Blackburn: ‘Everyone has said’ Trump call was ‘not a helpful call’

Bonnie Cash

Sen. Marsha Blackburn said Monday that “everyone has said” the call between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) was “not a helpful call.”

The Tennessee Republican and staunch ally to Trump acknowledged on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” that the call released by The Washington Post on Sunday was not beneficial to the president’s and other Republicans’ push to further investigate unfounded allegations of voter fraud. 

“One of the things, I think, that everyone has said is that this call was not a helpful call,” she said.  

Blackburn has pledged to join the move by GOP lawmakers in Congress to challenge the Electoral College results that rendered President-elect Joe Biden the winner during a meeting Jan. 6.  

In her interview, Blackburn remarked on the president’s Saturday call, in which he asked Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” for him in Georgia in order for Trump to surpass Biden in the state. 

The president-elect upset Trump in the reliably red state in November, becoming the first Democrat since 1992 to win Georgia in a presidential election. 

Blackburn said the group of 11 senators who are poised to oppose the Electoral College vote this week is working to send the voter fraud allegations “back to the state” to “resolve this issue.”

“We do not have federalized elections in this country,” Blackburn said. “We do not want federalized elections in this country. But it is going to be up to these state legislatures and these elected officials, not non-elected or appointed officials, to make these decisions.” 

Blackburn said she, along with the coalition’s other senators, are calling for a commission to be established to investigate allegations of voter fraud, adding, “That’s how to resolve this.”

In the controversial call on Saturday, Trump directly asked the Georgia secretary of state to overturn the election in his favor, representing the first evidence that the president tried to pressure a state official to change the results. 

“All I want to do is this,” Trump said in the call. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

Georgia Republican officials, including Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp (R), have maintained that Biden won Georgia, and the state has not found evidence to back claims of widespread voter fraud.

Some Republicans defended the call, including Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), who is running for reelection in a Tuesday runoff race. 

“I didn’t hear anything in that tape that the president hasn’t already said for weeks now since the November election calling for some sort of investigation, some sort of resolution to the improprieties and the irregularities that we now see happened in November here in Georgia,” Perdue told Fox News. 

Blackburn is among about a dozen senators who have vowed to contest the Electoral College results on Wednesday, joining a number of GOP representatives in the House.

But the effort is likely to fail, as Democrats have control of the House, and several Republican leaders and senators have expressed opposition to the challenge.

–Updated at 10:41 a.m.

Tags 2020 election 2020 election results Brian Kemp David Perdue Donald Trump Election integrity Electoral College Electoral College challenge Georgia Joe Biden Marsha Blackburn Trump Georgia call Trump recording

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