Vice President-elect Kamala Harris ripped into President Donald Trump after a leaked phone call captured him pressuring Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn her and Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
Harris reacted to the leaked recording while speaking at a campaign event for Democratic senate hopefuls Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Savannah on Sunday.
‘It was certainly the voice of desperation,’ Harris said of Trump’s plea to Brad Raffensberger.
‘And it was a bald, bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the president of the United States.’
Harris’ rebuke followed a Washington Post report detailing the unprecedented hour-long call on Saturday, during which Trump berated Raffensperger and Gov Brian Kemp to do anything they could to change the outcome of the Georgia election.
‘So look. All I want to do is this – I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,’ Trump told the officials, both of whom are Republicans.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris ripped into President Donald Trump on Sunday after a leaked phone call captured him pressuring Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn her and Joe Biden’s victory
Donald Trump demanded in an hour-long rambling call with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (pictured) on Saturday that he ‘find’ enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s win in Georgia
‘The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,’ Trump continued. ‘And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.’
‘Well, Mr President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong,’ Raffensperger responded.
In what the Post described as an incoherent conversation full of ramblings by the president, Trump repeated again and again: ‘There’s no way I lost Georgia.’
‘There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes,’ Trump lamented.
The Biden campaign quickly seized on the president’s comments, calling it proof of his ‘assault on democracy’.
‘We now have irrefutable proof of a president pressuring and threatening an official of his own party to get him to rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place,’ Biden Senior Advisor Bob Bauer said.
‘It captures the whole, disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy.’
In her speech in Savannah on Sunday, Harris accused Trump of trying to undermine Georgia’s senate races as well.
‘[Trump] called the Senate race in Georgia illegitimate … illegal and invalid … suggesting that the people of Georgia are trying to commit a crime,’ she said.
‘They filed six lawsuits — not one, not two — six lawsuits trying to challenge your voice in that election. And they failed every time. And the people’s voice remains standing.’
‘We know, were there not powerful people trying to mess with folks’ right to vote, we would be talking about Governor Stacey Abrams,’ Harris added, referencing claims that Abrams would have won the gubernatorial election in 2016 if it weren’t for voter suppression by then-Secretary of State Kemp.
‘We now have irrefutable proof of a president pressuring and threatening an official of his own party to get him to rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place. It captures the whole, disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy,’ Biden Senior Advisor Bob Bauer said on the call
The president tweeted shortly after news of the call broke: ‘Sorry, but the number of votes in the Swing States that we are talking about is VERY LARGE and totally OUTCOME DETERMINATIVE!’
‘Only the Democrats and some RINO’S would dare dispute this – even though they know it is true!’ he continued.
‘The Swing States did not even come close to following the dictates of their State Legislatures,’ he continued in a second tweet. ‘These States ‘election laws’ were made up by local judges & politicians, not by their Legislatures, & are therefore, before even getting to irregularities & fraud, UNCONSTITUTIONAL!’
Throughout the call, Raffensperger rejected Trump’s assertions about the election, claiming he was relying on debunked theories – even as the president flattered, begged and threatened with vague consequences.
At one point, Trump said Raffensperger was taking a ‘big risk’ by not acting to overturn the results.
Raffensperger also asserted in the call that Joe Biden’s 12,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters at the Capitol Sunday that Trump’s call with Raffensperger is an ‘impeachable offense.’
‘I absolutely think it’s an impeachable offense and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly,’ she said. ‘But he, I mean he is trying to – he is attacking our very election.’
She said she has not listened to the full hour, but has heard parts of the call between Trump and the Georgia secretary of State.
Reports of the call comes after Trump tweeted Sunday morning vaguely of the conversation, claiming Raffensperger ‘has no clue’ about what happened in the election.
‘I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!’ Trump posted.
He also tweeted warning Republicans of potential election fraud in Georgia as two Senate runoffs commence to determine control of the upper chamber.
‘Republicans in Georgia must be careful of the political corruption in Fulton County, which is rampant. The Governor, @BrianKempGA, and his puppet Lt. Governor, @GeoffDuncanGA, have done less than nothing. They are a disgrace to the great people of Georgia!’ he tweeted in reference to the Republican governor.
Former Speaker Paul Ryan blasts GOP’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ and calls group’s efforts to block Congress certifying Biden’s win as ‘anti-democratic and ‘anti-conservative’
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan admonished fellow Republicans Sunday in a rare statement that called planned GOP efforts to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s win ‘anti-democratic and anti-conservative.’
Ryan, of Wisconsin, who left Congress in 2019, said in a lengthy statement Sunday that it ‘is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans.’
He also urged the lawmakers to reconsider, saying ‘the fact that this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to American democracy.’
The statement from Ryan comes in response to a group of Senate Republicans, led by Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, who say they plan to object to the election results when Congress meets on Wednesday to tally Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory over Trump.
A bipartisan group of 10 senators – including four Republicans – also pushed back against the group’s planned protests Sunday, authoring a statement urging Congress to certify the election results.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Mitt Romney of Utah all signed on to the statement, which said ‘it is time to move forward.’
‘The 2020 election is over. All challenges through recounts and appeals have been exhausted,’ the group’s letter read in part.
‘At this point, further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results.’
Trump allies Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, both also spoke out Sunday, insisting Cruz and co.’s attempts to stop the certification of the Electoral College ‘will go nowhere’.
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan admonished fellow Republicans Sunday in a rare statement that called planned GOP efforts to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s win ‘anti-democratic and anti-conservative’
A bipartisan group of 10 senators – including Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah – also pushed back against the group’s planned protests Sunday, authoring a statement urging Congress to certify the election results
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana were the two other Republicans to co-author the statement
Both Cruz and Hawley have been touted as future leaders of the GOP, and may be eyeing a run for the White House in 2024.
The objections will force votes in both the House and Senate, but none are expected to prevail.
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has urged Republicans not to object. And several other GOP senators have criticized the efforts, splitting the party as the new Congress begins.
Ryan was the latest to criticize the motion Sunday. The Republican, who served as House Speaker from 2015 to 2019 and has rarely weighed into events since leaving office, decried Cruz and Hawley’s ‘anti-democratic’ efforts.
‘Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden’s victory strike at the foundation of our republic,’ Ryan wrote. ‘It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans.
‘The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to American democracy,’ he said.
Ryan also asked fellow conservatives to think about the ‘precedent that it would set’ and noted the Trump campaign’s failed efforts in the court to challenge election results in a number of states.
‘The Trump campaign had ample opportunity to challenge election results, and those efforts failed from lack of evidence. The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed,’ he added.
‘The Department of Justice, too, found no basis for overturning the result. If states wish to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative. But Joe Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate.’
In a statement issued Saturday, Sen. Romney called the planned objections an ‘egregious ploy to reject electors.’ Romney said the effort may ‘enhance the political ambition of some,’ but that it ‘dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic.’
Romney also said he believed the senators’ ‘ambition had eclipsed principle’, adding the decision not to certify the Electoral College results ‘has the predictable potential to lead to disruption, and worse.’
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski – who are both moderates – have sent out similar messages voicing their disapproval.
‘I acknowledge that this past election, like all elections, had irregularities. But the evidence is overwhelming that Joe Biden won this election,’ Toomey posted on Twitter.
Murkowski, who co-authored Sunday’s letter, said in a Saturday statement: ‘ I will vote to affirm the 2020 presidential election. The courts and state legislatures have all honored their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to warrant overturning the results.’
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, meanwhile, said Sunday that the objections are ‘bad for the country and bad for the party.’
The dozen rogue Republican senators who say they’ll oppose the vote certification include Ted Cruz of Texas, pictured in October
Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, a top Trump ally, spoke out in opposition against the group’s last-ditch efforts in a statement of his own on Sunday
In a statement released on Saturday night, Romney described the move as an ‘egregious ploy that ‘dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic’
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey similarly sent out messages voicing his disapproval over plans by 12 Republican senators to vote against certifying the election results
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska became the third Senator to publicly denounce her Republican colleagues
Part of a statement released by Sen. Angus King is shown above
As part of their objection, Cruz and 10 other GOP senators are demanding the appointment of an emergency commission to conduct a 10-day audit of the election returns in ‘disputed states’.
Until such a commission is appointed, they declared that they intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from those states – a largely symbolic move that has little chance of preventing Biden from taking office.
The 11 senators will effectively be joined by Sen. Hawley, who earlier this week became the first sitting member of the Senate to announce he would challenge the election result.
Cruz was joined in his statement by Senators Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, along with Cynthia Lummis, Tommy Tuberville, Bill Hagerty, and Roger Marshall, all of whom will be sworn in as senators on Sunday in the new Congress.
Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, a top Trump ally, spoke out in opposition against the group’s last-ditch efforts in a statement of his own on Sunday.
‘Proposing a commission at this late date – which has zero chance of becoming reality is not effectively fighting for President Trump,’ Graham tweeted. ‘It appears to be more of a political dodge than an effective remedy.’
Grahams comments were echoed by former Trump administration staffer and ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who said the group’s efforts to stop the certification of the Electoral College will ‘go nowhere.’
‘The thing that matters the most is the reason it will go nowhere is because there’s been no evidence of widespread fraud,’ he said in an interview with ABC’s This Week.
‘And that’s been determined by Republican and Democratic Governors across the country, it’s been determined, most importantly, by the Republican Attorney General of the United Stated States Bill Barr who no one could say has not been a loyal fighter for the president.’
Christie continued: ‘The facts are the facts. If there’s evidence show us. There’s been no evidence shown, and that’s why Joe Biden will be confirmed next week.’
Fraud did not spoil the 2020 presidential election, a fact confirmed by election officials across the country.
Regardless, Sen. Ron Johnson has insisted that the extraordinary effort by congressional Republicans to challenge Biden´s presidential victory is not intended to thwart the democratic process but ‘to protect it.’
In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, the Wisconsin senator pointed to an ‘unsustainable state of affairs’ where he claimed that many people in the country don’t accept the election as legitimate.
He contended that more transparency is needed to ‘restore confidence’ in results that states and the Electoral College have certified.
Johnson didn’t offer any new evidence of voting problems.
He did however acknowledge that Trump´s former attorney general, William Barr, found no evidence of widespread election fraud.
Multiple lawsuits filed by Trump´s legal team have been repeatedly dismissed, by the Supreme Court and by Trump-appointed judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.
When Johnson insisted that ‘tens of millions of people’ believe the presidential election was ‘stolen,’ NBC’s Chuck Todd suggested that Johnson ‘look in the mirror’ as to why that is.
Todd cut off Johnson´s unsubstantiated assertions.
He then told Johnson: ‘You don’t get to make these allegations that haven’t been proven true.’