Recording of Trump's Legally Murky Georgia Phone Call Is Out

Then-president had a 6-minute call with Georgia election investigator
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2021 1:35 AM CST
Recording of Trump's Legally Murky Georgia Phone Call Is Out
Former president Donald Trump points to cheering supporters as he is introduced before speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Then-President Trump made more than one legally murky phone call to a Georgia official as the state worked to certify election results, and the recording of one is now out. The 6-minute call, which Trump made on Dec. 23 to the state's lead elections investigator, was to Frances Watson, who works in the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. (Trump, of course, then made an hour-long phone call to Raffensperger himself on Jan. 2 regarding the same issue.) The call was reported in January, but the recording was not released until now, the Wall Street Journal reports (you can listen to it there). Watson was leading an audit of Cobb County results at the time. "When the right answer comes out, you’ll be praised," Trump says on the call, which the Daily Beast calls "shady."

He tells Watson he won Georgia but "something bad happened," and urges her to look at the ballots from Fulton County, which is 50% Black. "If you can get to Fulton, you are going to find things that are going to be unbelievable,” he said. His loss in the state “never made sense and, you know, they dropped ballots," he added. "They dropped all these ballots. Stacey Abrams, really, really terrible." Watson assured him she and her office were committed to accurate election results. She tells WSB-TV she did not feel pressured by Trump. "This phone call is just one more example of how Secretary Raffensperger’s office’s public comments also reflect what was said in one-on-one conversations: We would follow the law, count every legal vote and investigate any allegations of fraud. That’s exactly what we did, and how we arrived at the accurate final vote tally," Raffensperger’s spokesperson says. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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