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Trump call to ‘find’ votes was threat to my safety, Georgia elections official says
The Georgia Republican responsible for running elections considered an infamous call in which Donald Trump told him to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state a “threat” to his safety and that of his family.
Biden’s victory in Georgia was a narrow but vital part of his national win. No Democratic presidential candidate had taken the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Trump called Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, nearly two months after election day, on Saturday 2 January. Telling him “it’s pretty clear we won”, the then president said: “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have [to get]” to surpass Biden’s total.
Raffensperger, a conservative who supported Trump, resisted the president’s demands. That prompted Trump to suggest the refusal to expose mass voter fraud in Georgia – on which Trump insisted but which did not exist, as in all other states – could be a “criminal offense”.
“That’s a big risk to you,” Trump said. “That’s a big risk.”
In Integrity Counts, a book published on Tuesday, Raffensperger writes: “I felt then – and still believe today – that this was a threat. Others obviously thought so, too, because some of Trump’s more radical followers have responded as if it was their duty to carry out this threat.”
In the final hours of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign, Republican Glenn Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe offered starkly different closing arguments, making their cases to voters whose odd-year gubernatorial elections have long reflected the national political mood a year into any new administration.
Saddled by Joe Biden’s sagging poll numbers and intra-party wrangling that has gridlocked the president’s domestic spending agenda, McAuliffe has attempted to tether his opponent to Donald Trump, a polarizing figure in voter-rich northern suburbs.
Youngkin has mostly avoided the subject of Trump while embracing many of his tactics, a blueprint many Republican strategists believe could be a model for midterm elections next year.
Polls showed an unexpectedly close race in a state that has trended Democratic since the election of Barack Obama in 2008. A loss in a state Biden won by nearly 10 points in 2020 would be deeply alarming for a party already bracing for a difficult challenge next year.
Published at Tue, 02 Nov 2021 22:15:58 +0000