White House operator, Trump allies called election supervisors in Arizona
Former President Trump, Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tried to contact Maricopa County supervisors weeks after the 2020 election in an effort to get the county to change its election results, the Arizona Republic reported Friday.
The news outlet obtained voicemails and text messages from allies of the former president, inquiring about how the county was going to address alleged irregularities in the vote count. Some of the concerns by Trump’s allies related to the voting software and Trump’s performance in the election.
The Republic filed a public information request to Maricopa County for all records that documented calls between Nov. 1, 2020, and late May that were made by Trump, Giulani, Sidney Powell and any White House or Trump campaign representatives.
In one text that Ward sent supervisor Clint Hickman on Nov. 13, she asked him to “at least get an independent computer expert” to see if the county had any issues with its ballot count, according to the Republic.
At the time, Hickman was the chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which would have given him the ability to certify or delay the 2020 election results, among other things.
“Not someone who already works there,” she reportedly wrote. “These ballots can be counted manually, assuming nobody deleted the folder holding the ambiguous ballot scans. If the folder was deleted, federal data forensics teams could theoretically undelete it and perhaps track down the person who deleted it. What if election fraud was as easy as dragging votes from one folder to another?”
In response to a tweet about the Republic story, Ward tweeted “BS.”
Additionally, the White House switchboard called Hickman twice in early January, with the operator asking Hickman to call the president back.
“Hello, sir. This is the White House operator. I was calling to let you know that the president’s available to take your call if you’re free,” the voicemail reportedly said. “If you could please give us a call back, sir, that’d be great. You have a good evening.”
Hickman told the Republic that he believed Trump was going to ask him to change the results of the 2020 election or promote other election-based conspiracy theories, so he decided not to follow up.
“I didn’t want to walk into that space,” Hickman told the Republic.
Arizona is undergoing an audit of the election results after the GOP-controlled state senate subpoenaed the county for its ballots and ballot machines.
The move comes as Trump and his allies seek to cast doubt on the validity of the 2020 election results, which the former president has falsely claimed was rigged and had widespread voter fraud.
The Hill has reached out to a spokesperson for Trump and Giuliani for comment.
Updated 7:37 p.m.
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