The Trump campaign has responded to a full audio recording, obtained and released by The Washington Post on Jan. 3, of a call between President Donald Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, which focused on issues of election integrity.
The Washington Post initially released snippets of the hour-long Jan. 3 call, which also involved the participation of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump campaign attorney Cleta Mitchell, and Raffensperger’s lawyer Ryan Germany.
The full transcript of the call reveals the president laying out a number of specific claims of election irregularities, including double voting, dead people voting, and Trump votes being shredded, along with other allegations of “cheating” and “corruption” that the president said denied him a win in Georgia.
Raffensperger and Germany repeatedly countered Trump’s claims during the call, generally asserting that the issues raised by the president were either inaccurate or have been probed and shown to be untrue.
Jason Miller, senior adviser to the Trump campaign, wrote in a tweet on Jan. 3 that “the full recording will show that [Raffensperger] is still a hack, [Trump] is spot-on in his criticisms of the terrible job Raffensperger did, all of the officials running Georgia’s elections are trash, and [the president] won the state.”
The Georgia secretary of state’s office did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Several hours before The Washington Post reported on the audio recording, Trump said on Twitter that he had asked Raffensperger about a number of election-related irregularities, which the president said Raffensperger was unwilling or unable to answer.
“I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!” Trump wrote.
Raffensperger responded to Trump’s statement in a tweet: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.”
Some of the exchanges detailed in the call transcript show Trump saying that thousands of ballots were cast in Georgia by dead people.
“So dead people voted, and I think the number is close to 5,000 people. And they went to obituaries. They went to all sorts of methods to come up with an accurate number, and a minimum is close to about 5,000 voters,” Trump said.
Raffensperger responded: “The actual number was two. Two. Two people that were dead that voted.”
The president also said that some ballots were scanned three times, with the secretary of state saying in response, “We did an audit of that, and we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times.”
Other claims made by Trump include allegations of illegal out-of-state voters casting ballots in Georgia, thousands of people who were not on voter registration lists casting votes, and “a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures” on ballots.
“The bottom line is, when you add it all up,” Trump said, the “many infractions” were “many, many times the 11,779 margin that they said we lost by.”
“Well, I listened to what the president has just said,” Raffensperger responded after Trump listed his claims. “President Trump, we’ve had several lawsuits, and we’ve had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions. We don’t agree that you have won.”
David Shafer, chairman of the Republican Party of Georgia, wrote in a tweet that Trump has filed two lawsuits against Raffensperger over the audio call recording.
“President [Trump] has filed two lawsuits – federal and state – against [Raffensperger]. The telephone conference call [Raffensperger] secretly recorded was a ‘confidential settlement discussion’ of that litigation, which is still pending,” Shafer wrote.