ATLANTA â€” A top Georgia election official said the hourlong telephone call between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over the weekend was taped “out of an abundance of caution” because the president “doesn’t necessarily characterize things as they might have actually occurred.”
“I’m sure the president’s side recorded it too,” Gabriel Sterling, a Republican, said during a Monday afternoon press conference at the Capitol. “They might have been the ones who leaked part of that as well.”
During the telephone call, audio of which was published over the weekend, Trump repeated a litany of election fraud claims and asked Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn the Georgia presidential race in his favor from President-elect Joe Biden.
Raffensperger told ABC News earlier in the day that he wanted to make clear to Trump “that the data he has is just plain wrong.”
When asked about the call, Sterling said he “found it to be something not normal, out of place, and nobody I know who would be president would do something like that to a secretary of state.” Sterling added that he “screamed in my car at the radio” when he heard the audio of Trump’s conversation with Raffensperger.
An exasperated Sterling also delivered a blistering blow to Trump’s lengthy list of voter fraud claims, rebutting each grievance.
Standing next to a large sign reading, “CLAIM VS FACT,” Sterling addressed complaints of ballot shredding and of ex-convicts and dead people voting, along with conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines.
Trump and his lawyers have claimed that thousands of votes were cast in the state by people who were under the age of 18, weren’t registered to vote, or registered late.
Sterling said, as he has numerous times in the past, that the secretary of state’s office has investigated the claims and did not find a single ballot cast illegally in those categories.
He added that “this is all easily, provably false, yet the president persists and, by doing so, undermines Georgians’ faith in the election system.”
Sterling reiterated that all of the confusion around the presidential race could have an impact on Tuesday’s Senate runoff races between GOP incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and David Ossoff.
“If you’re a Georgia voter, if you want your values reflected by your elected officials, I strongly beg and encourage you to go vote tomorrow,” Sterling said. “Do not self-suppress your own vote. Don’t let anybody steal your vote that way.”
The outcome of Tuesday’s runoff races will determine which party takes control of the United States Senate. Trump, along with Biden, are both scheduled to be in Georgia on Monday night to stump for their candidates.
Trump tweeted earlier Monday that people will “see the real numbers tonight during my speech.”
Original Author: Barnini Chakraborty