Georgia Secretary of State: Trump ‘had no idea how elections work’

Previous President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe, Youngkin hold final campaign rallies ahead of tight Virginia gubernatorial race Poll: 50 percent of Republicans don’t think their vote is accurately counted overnight Defense and National Security: The Sub-Deal Showdown intensifies MORE He demonstrated virtually no knowledge of the conduct of modern electoral procedures in a long and rambling phone call with Georgia’s top election administrator as he recounted a series of discredited and fanciful conspiracy theories that he blamed for his electoral defeat.

The man on the other end of that call in early January, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), details months of falsehoods and misinformation perpetuated by the Trump campaign that led to their conversation in a new book published Tuesday. , “Integrity Counts. ”

The book includes a roughly 40-page transcript of the call itself, showing an increasingly agitated Trump clinging to allegations that Raffensperger and his top deputy consistently refute as then-White House chief of staff. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsTrump Seeks to Block 770 Pages of Jan.6 Panel Records: Court Records Subpoenas are a real concern for lawmakers facing Jan.6 questions. Jan 6 committee grants deferrals to Jeffrey Clark, Dan Scavino MORE He pleaded with Georgia officials to investigate further and Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to deliver the state’s electoral votes.

President BidenJoe Biden Biden Administration Targets Methane Emissions McConnell Criticizes Possible Payments to Separated Migrant Families Poll: 50 percent of Republicans don’t think their vote is accurately counted MORE became the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill clintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson Clinton Latest NASA Official Bill Nelson Suggested UFOs Have Otherworldly Origins Hypersonic Missile Defense Is A Job For The Space Force Two Strategies To Save Democracy And Stop The Rise Of Authoritarianism MORE to carry Georgia’s electoral votes, by a margin of 11,779 votes.

“Friends, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break, ”Trump told Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the general counsel to the secretary of state, according to the transcript.

“This repeated solicitation of votes showed me that President Trump really had no idea how elections work. The secretary of state’s office does not assign any votes, ”Raffensperger writes in an entry for the convocation.

“At the time of the call in January, I didn’t know if he believed what he was saying. He didn’t know if he was trying to push a narrative, or was just believing things that had been given to him. “Raffensperger told The Hill in an interview.” As a conservative Republican with a capital C, I’m disappointed like everyone else. But the cold and hard facts are that President Trump fell short in the state of Georgia. “

Trump said he had been told that votes had been cast on behalf of up to 5,000 dead people; Raffensperger’s post-election audit found that two people had voted on behalf of deceased family members. Trump alleged that 4,925 voters living in other states had cast their votes in Georgia; Raffensperger found 300 voters from other states. Trump Accused Fulton County Officials Of Destroying Thousands Of Ballots; Raffensperger responds that Cobb County officials tore up blank envelopes and not ballots.

“I wanted to respond to you with respect, but also to let you know in no uncertain terms that what you just said is not supported by the facts,” Raffensperger said. “Every accusation he made on that call and every accusation his surrogates made, we analyzed and were not supported by the facts.”

The months after the November election cast an uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, spotlight on Raffensperger and others swept up in the cauldron of misinformation perpetuated by Trump supporters. An anonymous person sent Raffensperger’s wife a threatening text message. A poll worker, whom Raffensperger does not name to protect what little privacy she has left, was harassed by Trump supporters who incorrectly believed she had committed a crime.

Another man, Ron Raffensperger, was harassed by some who thought he was the secretary’s brother; Brad Raffensperger has no brother.

“We are a nation of laws; we believe in the rule of law. We have a constitution. We have state laws, we have federal laws,” Raffensperger said. Poll workers in 75, 80 percent of Trump counties in Georgia is absolutely egregious behavior. If the parents and grandparents of these people saw what they do and say, I think they would take them all to the woodshed because they don’t. how your mom raised you ”.

Raffensperger has supported some of the election law changes that took place in Georgia after the November elections, measures that Republicans say are intended to increase security and reduce fraud, but that Democrats counteract are designed to restrict access to the polls.

When asked if there is widespread electoral fraud in the United States, Raffensperger said, “No, it is not.”

Raffensperger, who is running for re-election next year, remains a target for Trump and his acolytes. He faces a challenge from Rep. Jody I didJody Brownlow HiceRaffensperger calling for a bipartisan federal electoral reform commission Democratic retirements could make a difficult midterm year even worse Republicans move forward with electoral challenges MORE (R), who has maintained the electoral rejection and obtained the endorsement of Trump in response.

“I think what I have shown is that when you have more courage and integrity to do the right thing and stay in the gap, people know that I fought hard to make sure we have honest and fair elections and to make sure we keep them. the accessibility and safety guardrails in place, ”Raffensperger said. “What I work on is managing myself every day. So I can look in the mirror, I can look at my wife, look at my children, my grandchildren and know that I did the right thing. I did what was true. I did what was noble. And that keeps me pretty busy. “

Raffensperger declined to say whether he believes Trump is morally fit to be president. Instead, he said, he is happy to have been responsible for conducting the Georgia elections.

“I guess you could say that God put me in this moment that I knew I would have the courage and conviction to do the right thing. And I am very grateful that I did, ”he said. “Because it was the right thing to do, because it was based on the facts, it was based on the law, it was based on the Constitution.”

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