In a recording made public by the “Washington Post”, the American president asks the secretary of state of Georgia to modify the results of the presidential election in his favor.
“We won, I think you’re okay?” Sometimes flattering, sometimes begging, sometimes vaguely threatening, but without ever deviating from the assurance of a businessman who would seek to land a favorable contract at all costs, Donald Trump put pressure on the Georgia Secretary of State so that he agrees to reconsider the results of the presidential election of November 3, which he claims against all odds to have won.
All I want is to just find 11,780 votes, which is kinda than what we have. Because we have won the state. “
Donald Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
In an extraordinary phone call made on Saturday from the White House, and of which The Washington Post released the recording and transcript on Sunday, the American president, during an hour of conversation, tried to obtain from Brad Raffensperger the modification of the result of the election in his favor.
“All I want is just to find 11,780 votes, which is kinda than what we have. Because we have won the state ”, this Trump. “The people of Georgia are angry, people across the country are angry… And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, uh, you’ve recalculated. “
“Well, Mr. President”, Raffensperger replied, “The problem is, the data you have is wrong.”
During this call, in which the Secretary General of the White House, Mark Meadows, and several lawyers participated, Trump repeated the accusations of fraud already presented by his lawyers in court, and dismissed for lack of evidence: ballot boxes withdrawn, machines counting tampered with, voters dead and counted, ballots in his favor deliberately destroyed. “It’s just not possible that I lost Georgia”, a dit Trump. “It’s not possible… But they added a lot of votes late at night. You know that, Brad. And that’s what we’re working on very, very rigorously. ”
Without losing his cool, Brad Raffensperger has each time politely but firmly refused to accede to these requests to reverse the result of a vote repeatedly recounted and certified. “We do not agree that you won”, replied the Secretary of State. “There have been several court cases… We did a manual recount, of all the ballots and compared them to the results of the counting by the machines and we got almost the same result… I don’t think so. there is a problem with that. ” As for deceased voters, “They were two… We think we had a regular election”, a dit Raffensperger.
Your numbers are not right! They are completely wrong, Brad! And I know this phone call is going nowhere. Look, in the end, I won ok? … “
“No no not at all! Not regular at all! ”, a relancé Trump. “Why can’t we ask professionals to investigate instead of leaving it to amateurs who will never find anything and want to find nothing?”
“Mr. President, you have people providing you with information and we have our people providing us with information”, insisted Raffensperger. “We think our numbers are right.”
“Your numbers are not right!”, a lancé Trump. “They are completely wrong, Brad! And I know this phone call is going nowhere. Look, in the end, I won ok? … You behaved so badly with the people of Georgia, you, and your governor, who is now only 21 points in the polls … And like an idiot, I supported him and he was elected, but I’ll tell you, it’s a disaster… I can’t imagine him being elected again. But why wouldn’t you want to find the right answer, Brad, instead of continuing to say that the numbers are right? These numbers are so wrong! ”
Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State and Governor Brian Kemp, two Republican elected officials who both campaigned for Trump, have stood up for two months to all pressure from the president to reconsider the outcome of the election. Qualified from “Republicans in name only” by the president, accused of treason on social networks, they received numerous anonymous threats, but while continuing to defend the integrity of a vote confirmed by several recounts. No evidence of fraud has been provided either.
The call of the former Pentagon chiefs
The Washington Post and the Associated Press did not say how they obtained the recording, or whether it came from the White House or the Georgia Secretary of State.
But the authenticity of the conversation, which recalled that of Trump with the Ukrainian president in the summer of 2019, when he asked him to investigate Joe Biden, and which had earned him an impeachment trial, has not been questioned. Days before Biden’s official proclamation of victory by Congress, which is due to take place in Washington on Wednesday, this unprecedented intervention indicates that Trump has not given up on obtaining the modification of a result which he denounces as fraudulent. This refusal by the outgoing president to recognize his defeat has triggered an increasingly worrying political crisis for two months. Because Trump is far from isolated, and has gathered many allies. He has the support of a majority of Republican voters, who view the outcome of the ballot with suspicion, and of some elected officials from his own camp.
A dozen senators and nearly 140 Republican representatives in Congress have announced their intention to oppose the official proclamation of the results of a number ofIT’Scontested states. Their movement is supported by Vice President Mike Pence, who is due to chair the January 6 session. These elected officials do not have a sufficient majority to change the outcome of the vote, but their action contributes to worsening an already quite deleterious climate. Trump also called on his supporters to demonstrate that day in Washington, raising fears of disturbances to public order.
Attempts to involve the US armed forces in the resolution of electoral disputes would take us to dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional ground. “
Dick Cheney, James Mattis, Mark Esper, Leon Panetta, Donald Rumsfeld, William Cohen, Chuck Hagel, Robert Gates, William Perry et Ashton Carter
Another sign of the unusual atmosphere that reigns in the federal capital, ten former Secretaries of Defense, that is to say all those still alive, published in the Washington Post an almost implausible op-ed, recalling that “The US military has no role to play in determining the results of an election.” Signed in particular by Trump’s two previous Defense Secretaries, James Mattis and Mark Esper, but also by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, two figures of the Republican Party, this declaration sounded like a call to reason, while giving the impression to be on the eve of a pronouncement. “Our elections have taken place. Recounts and audits have been carried out. The formal challenges have been reviewed by the courts. The governors certified the results. And the Electoral College voted. The time for contesting the results has passed; the time for the official counting of the votes of the Electoral College, as provided for by the Constitution and the law, has arrived ”, wrote the former heads of the Pentagon. “Attempts to involve the US armed forces in the resolution of electoral disputes would take us to dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional ground. Civilian and military officials who order or carry out such measures would be responsible, including on pain of criminal sanctions, for the serious consequences of their actions on our republic. “