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In Leaked Audio, Trump Pressures Georgia Official to Change Election Results

‘I just want to find 11,780 votes,’ yelled Trump. 
IMAGE Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com
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Donald Trump just can’t face defeat, and he’s prepared to go to great lengths to avoid it. On January 4, the Washington Post broke news of a leaked telephone call in which Trump could be heard pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to recalculate votes in his favor. 

It is the biggest election scandal in recent memory, where a presidential candidate is directly involved in evidence of attempting to rig the election results. It is comparable to the “Hello, Garci” scandal that rocked the legitimacy of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, where she could be heard saying “Hello, Garci? Will I still lead by one million?” She was speaking to then-election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano. 

Trump made a similar call, but with Brad Raffensperger, fellow Republican and Georgia’s secretary of state.

“There’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, you’ve recalculated!” Trump could be heard saying to Raffensperger. 

Raffensperger responded with, “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong.”

Throughout the call, Trump repeatedly insisted Raffensperger find him 11,780 votes—the amount needed to secure the state’s electoral votes. 

“I just want to find 11,780 votes!” yelled Trump in one instance. 

“You should want to have an accurate election. And you’re a Republican,” Trump said to Raffensperger, to which the latter responded with “We believe that we do have an accurate election.” 

“No, you don’t. Not even close. You’re off by hundreds of thousands of votes,” Trump answered back. 

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The audio recording of the phone call was peppered with Trump insisting on unfounded rumors that allege Democrats cheated in Georgia’s elections. 

“There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”

On Sunday, January 3, Trump tweeted about his conversation with Raffensperger (prior to the Post publishing their recorded conversation). 

Raffensperger tweeted his own response: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true.”

President-elect Joe Biden’s camp has released a statement about the recorded phone call. 

"We now have irrefutable proof of a president threatening an official of his own party to rescind a state's certified vote count," said Biden’s statement. 

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris, on the other hand, had more scathing words for the election loser. “It was certainly the voice of desperation. And it was a bald, bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States,” said Harris. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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