By QUINN SCANLAN, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday that the data President Donald Trump cited to him throughout an hour-long phone call Saturday to claim there was rampant voter fraud in the state’s presidential election “is just plain wrong.”
“He did most of the talking. We did most of the listening but I did want to make my points that the data that he has is just plain wrong,” Raffensperger said of the call during an exclusive interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.
“He had hundreds and hundreds of people he said that were dead that voted. We found two, that’s an example of just — he has bad data,” he said.
Audio of the phone call was first obtained by The Washington Post but then also obtained by ABC News.
In the call, Trump, citing debunked and dismissed conspiracy theories about election fraud in Georgia, repeatedly demanded that Raffensperger “find” enough votes to deliver the president a win in The Peach State, wrongly claiming it is “not possible” for him to have lost the election there.
President-elect Joe Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992, but his narrow victory came after years of demographic shifts and efforts among party activists to get out their vote.
“Did you feel the pressure when he said ‘find’ the votes?” Stephanopoulos pressed.
“No,” Raffensperger said. “We have to follow the process, follow the law. Everything we’ve done for the last 12 months follows the constitution of the State of Georgia, follows the United States Constitution, follows state law.”
During the call, Trump accused Raffensperger of engaging in criminal acts, claiming that election workers were shredding ballots, which the secretary’s general counsel, Ryan Germany, said was not true. The president alleged Raffensperger was covering it up.
“It’s more illegal for you than it is for them because you know what they did and you’re not reporting it — that’s the — you know, that’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And, you know you can’t let that happen. That’s — that’s a big risk to you and Ryan (Germany), your lawyer, that’s a big risk,” Trump said during the call.
On GMA, Stephanopoulos asked the secretary whether he thought the conversation with the president was lawful and whether he would launch an investigation, which State Election Board member David Worley requested of him via email Sunday night.
“Did you consider it a lawful request when the president asked you to find the votes?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I’m not a lawyer. All I know is that we’re gonna follow the law, follow the process. Truth matters, and we’ve been fighting these rumors for the last two months,” the secretary replied.
Raffensperger said that since the general election, he and his office have “been fighting a rumor whack-a-mole” daily, but that hasn’t stopped the president from continuing to spread them.
“It was pretty obvious very early on that we debunked every one of those theories that had been out there, but the President Trump continues to believe them,” he said.
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