Here are some excerpts from the hourlong call Saturday between President Donald Trump pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the results of Georgia’s presidential election days before the high-stakes runoffs for control of the U.S. Senate.
Return to AJC.com later today for the full recording of the phone call.
Read the full story here.
Here is a transcript of excerpts from the call.
Trump: People should be happy to have an accurate count, so instead of an election where there’s turmoil. I mean there’s turmoil in Georgia and other places — you’re not the only one — I mean we have other states that I believe will be flipping to us very shortly.
After discussing possible irregularities in other states, Trump said:
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 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, that you’ve recalculated because the 2,236 in absentee ballots. They’re all exact numbers that were done by accounting firms, law firms etc., and even if you cut them in half, cut them in half and cut them in half again, it’s more votes than we need.
Raffensperger: Well, Mr. President the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong. We talked with the congressmen, and they were surprised but, I guess there was a person … who 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 people that were dead who voted, and that’s wrong, that was two.
In another part of the discussion, after Trump recited a list of possible voting irregularities, Raffensperger pushed back again.
Raffensperger: Mr. President, the problem you have with social media is that people can say anything.
Trump: No, 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 — 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, you don’t. No. You don’t. You don’t have, not even close. You’re off by hundreds of thousands of votes and just on the small numbers, you’re off on these numbers.
At several points in the discussion, Trump said his campaign won Georgia by hundreds of thousands of votes, but repeatedly told Raffensperger he was interested in confirming enough of those to overturn Joe Biden’s margin of victory, which was just under 12,000 votes.
Trump: Look, we need only 11,000 votes. We have far more than that as it stands now. We’ll have more and more. Uh, do you have provisional ballots at all, Brad, provisional ballots?
Raffensperger: Provisional ballots are allowed, you know, by state law.
Trump: Sure, but you have them? I mean are they counted or did you just hold them back because — in other words, how many provisional ballots do you have in the state?
Raffensperger: We’ll get you that number.
Trump: Because most of them are made out to the name Trump, because these are people that were scammed, when they came in, and we have thousands of people that have testified or want to testify, when they came in, they were proudly going to vote on Nov. 3, and they were told, ‘I’m sorry. You were already voted for. You already voted.’
Trump returned a number of times to the issue of overturning Biden’s victory in Georgia.
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. We have that in spades already. Or we can keep it going, but that’s not fair to the voters of Georgia, cause they’re going to see what happened.
He also was very critical of Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp.
Trump: You’ve treated the population of Georgia so badly, between you and your governor, who was down at 21 — he was down 21 points and like a schmuck I endorsed him and he got elected, but I will tell you he’s a disaster. And he’ll never — I can’t imagine, the people are so angry in Georgia, I can’t imagine he’s ever getting elected again, I’ll tell you that much right now.
Trump: As the governors of major states and the surrounding states said, there is no way you lost Georgia. As the Georgia politicians say, there is no way you lost Georgia. Nobody — everyone knows I won it by hundreds of thousands of votes.
But I’ll tell you it’s going to have a big impact on Tuesday if you guys don’t get this thing straightened out fast.
Trump: And Stacey Abrams is laughing about — you know she’s going around saying these guys are dumber than a rock. What she’s done to this party is unbelievable, I tell you. And I only ran against her once and that was with a guy named Brian Kemp. And I beat her. And if I didn’t run, Brian wouldn’t have had even a shot, either in the general or in the primary. He was dead — dead as a doornail. He never thought he had a shot at either one of them, What a schmuck I was, but that’s the way it is, that’s the way it is.
I would like you to — for the attorneys on my side, I’d like you to perhaps meet with Ryan ideally tomorrow because I think we should come to a resolution of this before the election. Otherwise, you’re going to have people just not voting — they don’t want to vote. They hate the state, they hate the governor and they hate the Secretary of State, I will tell you that right now. And the only people that like you are people that will never vote for you, you know that, Brad, right? They like you, you know, they like you — they can’t believe what they found. They want more people like you.