Atlanta (AFP) – President Donald Trump has directed anger at the Georgia election chief over the cancellation of Joe Biden’s victory in the state, indicating in a phone call that the official “finds” enough votes to give Trump the victory.
Saturday’s conversation was the latest step in an unprecedented effort by an incumbent president to pressure a government official to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election he lost. The renewed intervention and persistent unfounded allegations of fraud by the first president to lose re-election in nearly 30 years come nearly two weeks before Trump leaves office and two days before the second rounds in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate.
Trump confirmed in a tweet Sunday that he had spoken with Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Republican Brad Ravensburger, the day before.
Audio excerpts of the conversation were published online by The Washington Post. The Associated Press later obtained a recording of the call from someone who was on the call.
The president, who refused to accept his loss to the Democratic president-elect, heard Ravensburger say at one point: “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is more than we have. Because we won the country.”
Georgia approved the election results that showed Biden winning the state election on November 3 by 11,779 votes.
The White House referred questions to the Trump reelection campaign, which did not respond on Sunday to an email request for comment. Ravensburger’s office did not respond to a text message requesting comment.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the way the Ravensburger managed the Georgia election, claiming without evidence that the state’s 16 electoral votes were wrongly given to Biden.
“He has no evidence!” Trump tweeted about Ravensburger, saying the government official was “neither unwilling nor unable” to answer questions about a series of allegations about the handling of polling and voters that have been debunked or dropped by judges and election authorities.
Ravensberger responded on Twitter: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you are saying is not true. The truth will come out.”
Several election officials across the country, as well as Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, asserted that there was no widespread fraud in the elections. Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, two states that are key on the battlefield decisive in Biden’s victory, have also emphasized the integrity of the elections in their states. The judges rejected nearly all legal appeals from Trump and his allies, including two that were rejected by the Supreme Court, which includes three justices nominated by Trump.
The run-offs took place in the Senate against Democrat Raphael Warnock, Senator Kelly Loeffler and Senator David Purdue, against Democrat John Usoff. As the Senate snagged, the nominees and the outside groups supporting them spent hundreds of millions of dollars in contests, flooding Georgia with TV ads, mail, phone calls, and door-knocking efforts.
Loeffler said she has not decided whether to join her fellow Republicans in challenging the legitimacy of Biden’s victory over Trump. Democratic candidates, whose victory on Tuesday will help remove barriers to the new administration’s agenda, have waited for their campaign visit from Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Trump has continued to attack top Republicans in Georgia for losing the state election, raising concerns that his words could push some Republicans away from the polls.
“I think we will win on Tuesday because of the popular momentum, and the unprecedented movement energy in Georgia at the moment,” Usoff told State of the Union on CNN. “In Georgia, we feel as if we are on the cusp of a historic victory,” he said.
When asked about the bias of the growing group of Republicans in the Senate seeking to contest the Electoral College count, Loeffler said she “was looking at it closely, and I was one of the first to say,” Everything is on the table. ” She told “Fox News Sunday” that I am fighting for this president because he fought for us. He is our president and we will continue to ensure that these are fair elections. “
Warnock, the chief chaplain at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, who continued to preach during his campaigns for the presidency, seemed to allude to the runoff in a message delivered Sunday. He told viewers who watched from a distance because of the pandemic that they are “on the verge of victory” in their lives if they accept that God has already provided them with the ability to defeat their enemies.
“When God is with you, you can defeat the giants,” said Warnock, who finished early morning Mass by encouraging Georgians to vote on Tuesday. “It is very important that your voice be heard at this decisive moment in our country,” he said. “I wouldn’t be arrogant enough to tell you who you vote for.”
Loeffler was appointed to fill a vacancy when Republican Johnny Isaacson resigned from his seat, and she will be in the Senate, win or lose this next week, until the election is certified. Purdue’s seat will become temporarily vacant after his term expires on Sunday at the end of six years.
Harris was scheduled to be in Savannah on Sunday afternoon. Trump and Biden are planning at the last minute a personal effort Monday to mobilize voters after more than 3 million people cast their ballots early.
The president continues to stir up unrest between Loeffler and Purdue by questioning Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia and the reliability of the state’s election systems.
Trump also said on Twitter that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Lieutenant Jeff Duncan, who are also Republicans, “have done little more than nothing. They are a disgrace to the great people of Georgia!”
Last week, the president called on Kemp to resign. The governor rejected it, calling it a “distraction.”
Despite the attacks, Loeffler said she believes voters will heed Trump’s expected call during his upcoming visit to participate.
“He’ll tell the voters the same thing: You have to go out and vote for Georgia, because that’s very important,” Loeffler said.
Purdue, who is under quarantine after being exposed to an employee infected with the Coronavirus and will not appear with Trump at Monday’s rally, said he would have joined the election challenge in the Senate had he been in Washington. “I encourage my colleagues to protest. This is something the American people are asking for right now,” he told Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures.
Superville from Washington reported.