In a 2021 telephone conversation, President Trump pushed Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to overturn the state’s election results, citing debunked claims of election fraud. That call is among the central pieces of evidence in the election interference case against the former president. Here are some notable excerpts from a recording of that call, which was obtained by The New York Times.
Listen to Excerpts From Trump’s Call
TRUMP: I could tell you by the rally I’m having on Monday night, the place, they already have lines of people standing out front waiting. It’s just not possible to have lost Georgia. It’s not possible. When I heard it was close, I said there’s no way. But they dropped a lot of votes in there late at night, you know that Brad. And that’s what we are working on very, very stringently. But regardless of those votes, with all of it being said, we lost by 11 to — essentially 11,000 votes. And we have many more votes already calculated and certified too.
TRUMP: We have, we have, we have won this election in Georgia based on all of this. And there’s, there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. You know, I mean, having the, having a correct — the people of Georgia are angry and these numbers are going to be repeated on Monday night, along with others that we’re going to have by that time, which are much more substantial even. And the people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.
RAFFENSPERGER: Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong. We, we talked to the congressmen, and they were surprised. But they — I guess, there’s a person named Mr. Brainard that came to these meetings and presented data and he said that there was dead people, I believe it was upward of 5,000. The actual number were two. Two. Two people that were dead that voted. And so, that’s wrong, that was two.
RAFFENSPERGER: Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, they — people can say anything.
TRUMP: Oh, this isn’t social media. This is Trump media. It’s not social media. It’s really not, it’s not social media. I don’t care about social media. I couldn’t care less. Social media is Big Tech. Big Tech is on your side, you know. I don’t even know why you have a side, because you should want to have an accurate election. And you’re a Republican.
RAFFENSPERGER: We believe that we do have an accurate election.
TRUMP: No, no, you don’t. No, no, you don’t. You don’t have, you don’t have. Not even close. You’re off by hundreds of thousands of votes.
TRUMP: But the ballots are corrupt. And you’re going to find that they are — which is totally illegal, it is more illegal for you than it is for them because, you know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal — that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. And that’s a big risk. But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard. And they are removing machinery and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.
TRUMP: So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.
TRUMP: So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? We won the election and it’s not fair to take it away from us like this. And it’s going to be very costly in many ways. And I think you have to say that you’re going to re-examine it and you can re-examine it, but re-examine it with people that want to find answers, not people that don’t want to find answers.
RAFFENSPERGER: Mr. President, you have people that submit information and we have our people that submit information. And then it comes before the court and the court then has to make a determination. We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right.
Hailey Fuchs is a reporter in Washington. She graduated from Yale University. More about Hailey Fuchs
Chris Cameron is based in the Washington bureau. More about Chris Cameron
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