US President Donald Trump commented on his conversation with the Secretary of State of Georgia, excerpts from which were previously published by the Washington Post. The President demanded that the head of the electoral system of Georgia “find” enough votes to change the results of elections in this state in his favor.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “Yesterday I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about Fulton County and electoral fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling or unable to answer questions related to ballot fraud, ballot destruction, out-of-state voting, deceased voters, and many others. He is completely out of the picture! ”
Hours later, Raffensperger replied, “With all due respect, President Trump, what you are saying is not true. The truth will be revealed. ”
Raffensperger also commented on the conversation on the air of ABC channel. “I did not consider it appropriate to talk to the president at all, but he insisted,” he said.
“He spoke mostly, and we mostly listened,” explained the state secretary. – But I want to emphasize that his data is simply incorrect. He claims to have voted hundreds of voters who have already died. We have identified two such cases. Here’s just one example of how unreliable his data is. ”
“For the past two months we have been battling an endless stream of rumors,” added Raffensperger. “And it quickly became clear that we had refuted all the theories put forward. But President Trump continues to believe in them … We are convinced that the truth matters. ”
Georgia’s only Democrat, David Worley, has demanded an investigation to determine if Trump violated state electoral laws.
Many politicians commented on Trump’s conversation with Raffensperger.
Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris called the president’s move “a manifestation of despair” and “an outright abuse of power.”
Two Democratic congressmen on Monday called on FBI Director Christopher Ray to investigate the president’s conversation with Raffensperger.
“We believe that Donald Trump was involved in incitement or conspiracy to commit a number of electoral crimes. We ask that you immediately open a criminal investigation against the President, ”Rep. Ted Liu and Kathleen Rice said in a statement. The Ministry of Justice has not yet commented on this request.
“Absolutely outrageous,” Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger tweeted. “To all members of Congress who are going to challenge the election results, I will say, in light of this, you cannot do this with a clear conscience.”
“Republicans, there is no excuse for that,” wrote former Republican Senator Jeff Flake.
“I will not remain silent when the outgoing president tries to undermine the will of more than 5 million voters in my state,” Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia Caroline Burdeau tweeted. “This country is a democracy, not a dictatorship, and I intend to do everything possible to stop Trump’s attacks on our elections.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Democrat Adam Schiff called Trump’s actions “an outrageous abuse of power.”
Georgia Lieutenant Governor Jeff Duncan told CNN: “I can say with absolute certainty that it was inappropriate. It definitely didn’t help improve the situation. This is based on incorrect information. This is based on a variety of theories that have been debunked and refuted over the past 10 weeks. ”
Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn said on Fox News that Trump’s call was not a “helpful” move.
Illinois Democrat Senator Dick Derbin said the president’s “shameful attempt to intimidate an elected official into deliberately altering and distorting his state’s official vote is striking the very heart of American democracy.”
Former Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich tweeted: “If there are no fragments of the tape that somehow deny criminal intent … then his best defense would be a confession of insanity.”
Some, on the contrary, supported the president. For example, the Republican Party in Arizona tweeted that “the president cares about election integrity like all Americans.”
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy also defended Trump in an interview with Fox News on Monday. “The president has always been concerned about the integrity of the elections,” he said. “The President thinks that there are some things that have happened in Georgia for which he considers it necessary to establish responsibility.”