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Donald Trump told Georgia election chief to 'find' votes in unearthed tapes
3 January 2021, 22:45
Outgoing US President Donald Trump has been recorded telling Georgia's election chief to "find" enough votes to overturn the election results.
In an hour-long phone call on Saturday - which was released by The Washington Post - Trump can be heard telling Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger: "I just want to find 11,780 votes."
Georgia certified election results showing that Mr Biden won the state's November 3 election by 11,779 votes.
Mr Raffensperger replies saying Georgia's results, which declared Joe Biden the winner in the state, were correct.
But Trump then threatened Mr Raffensperger with legal consequences.
"You know what they did and you're not reporting it. That's a criminal offence. You can't let that happen. That's a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer," Mr Trump said.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the way Mr Raffensperger ran Georgia's elections, claiming without evidence that the state's 16 electoral votes were wrongly given to Mr Biden.
"He has no clue!" Trump tweeted of Mr Raffensperger, saying the state official "was unwilling, or unable" to answer questions about a series of claims about ballot handling and voters that have been debunked or shot down by judges and election authorities.
Mr Raffensperger responded on Twitter: "Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out."
There was no widespread fraud in the election, which a range of election officials across the country, as well as Mr Trump's former attorney general, William Barr, have confirmed.
Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states crucial to Mr Biden's victory, have also vouched for the integrity of the elections in their states.
Nearly all the legal challenges from Mr Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two thrown out by the Supreme Court, which includes three Trump-nominated justices.
The conversation is the latest step in an unprecedented effort by a sitting president to pressure a state official to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election that he lost.
Since losing the election to President-Elect Joe Biden, Trump has launched an unfounded campaign claiming widespread electoral fraud, all without providing evidence.
It also comes just two weeks before Mr Trump leaves office and two days before twin runoffs in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate.