Raffensperger goes on defense, says he ‘never believed’ Trump call was ‘appropriate’
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger went on the defense and stood by his leaking of an hour-long confidential litigation call between himself and President Trump. He reiterated that he has disproven Trump’s claims of election fraud on an appearance on Good Morning America, prompting a number of Republicans to wonder what side of the aisle the Georgia Secretary of State is actually on.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos pretended to be shocked as he spoke to Raffensperger about his conversation with Trump. When asked what he was thinking, Raffensperger said “for the last two months, we’ve been fighting a rumor whack-a-mole. It was pretty obvious very early on that we debunked every one of those theories that have been out there, but President Trump continues to believe them.”
Stephanopoulos also asked Raffensperger if he felt “pressure” at the moment when Trump asked him to “find 11,780 votes” and allegedly help him overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
“No,” Raffenperger answered seemingly nixing this whole controversy to start with. While he spoke of how the pandemic posed complications for the election process, he also said “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.”
Raffensperger said “I never believed it was appropriate to speak to the president” before the call because of ongoing litigation. Nevertheless, he affirmed his contradiction of Trump’s allegations of voter fraud once again by saying “the data he has is just plain wrong.”
Raffensperger said Monday that it was unlikely his office would open an investigation into his weekend phone call with President Trump but suggested a criminal probe could still be launched by an Atlanta-area district attorney.
Because Trump personally spoke with Raffensperger on Saturday and recently had a conversation with the chief investigator in the secretary of state’s office, Raffensperger told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “there may be a conflict of interest” that would inhibit any potential investigation. Raffensperger went on to say: “I understand that the Fulton County District Attorney wants to look at it. Maybe that’s the appropriate venue for it to go.”
Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out https://t.co/ViYjTSeRcC
— GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (@GaSecofState) January 3, 2021
Stephanopoulos concluded the interview by asking Raffensperger if he would vote for Trump all over again after everything that has happened. Raffensperger hedged on the question by noting Trump isn’t on the 2024 ballot yet, but “I support Republicans. I always have and I probably always will.” To many Americans, approximately 75 million of them who voted for President Trump, his actions seem to directly contradict his professed political allegiances.
Raffensperger received the call Saturday afternoon after the White House switchboard had made 18 attempts to have him speak with Trump over the two months since the general election, according to a Georgia Republican familiar with the call.
Officials in Raffensperger’s office recorded the call, and he made it clear to his advisers that he did not want a transcript or an audio recording released unless Trump attacked Georgia officials or misrepresented the conversation, according to the Georgia Republican. Before the audio leaked, Trump attacked Raffensperger on Twitter, saying that they had a call and that the secretary of state was “unwilling, or unable” to answer his questions, to which Raffensperger responded, “The truth will come out.”
The call was indeed leaked and all fingers are now pointing at Raffensperger over it.