US election: Trump tells Georgia election official to ‘find’ votes to overturn Biden win
US President Donald Trump has been recorded telling Georgia’s top election official to “find” enough votes to overturn the election result.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Mr Trump told Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a recording released by the Washington Post.
Mr Raffensperger is heard replying that Georgia’s results are correct. Joe Biden won Georgia alongside other swing states, winning 306 electoral college votes to Mr Trump’s 232.
Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris called Mr Trump’s comments “a bold abuse of power”.
It comes ahead of two crucial runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday that will decide which party controls the Senate.
Since the 3 November vote, Mr Trump has been making unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
All 50 states have certified the election result, some after recounts and legal appeals.
Congress is due to formally approve the election result on 6 January and Mr Biden, a Democrat, is due to be inaugurated as president on 20 January.
All 10 living former US defence secretaries have urged President Trump not to question the election results in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. The group also said he should not involve the military in voting disputes, an idea that’s been mooted by some of Mr Trump’s supporters.
What happened during the Trump call?
In excerpts of Saturday’s phone call released by the Washington Post, Mr Trump can be heard alternately cajoling and pressurising Georgia’s secretary of state.
He insisted that he had won the election in Georgia and told Mr Raffensperger that there was “nothing wrong with saying you have recalculated”.
Mr Raffensperger responded by saying: “The challenge you have, Mr President, is that the data you have is wrong.”
Later in the call, Mr Trump said the rumour was that ballots had been shredded and voting machinery had been removed from Fulton County in the state – claims denied by Mr Raffensperger’s lawyer. – bbc.com