CBS News’ “60 Minutes” has learned the call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2 was not President Trump’s first attempt to influence the state’s election outcome. Sources tell “60 Minutes” that last month, the president himself called one of the Georgia secretary of state’s investigators.
A person briefed on the call said Mr. Trump told the investigator they would be a “national hero” if they found evidence of fraud. But no evidence had been found by the investigator, and days later Mr. Trump would be similarly rebuffed by Raffensperger. The White House did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the CBS News White House unit.
“60 Minutes” will air Sunday on CBS.
CBS News obtained audio of the January 2 phone call. According to the audio of the call, the president told Raffensperger, “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.” The Washington Post first reported on the contents of the call and published the audio. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also participated in the discussion.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” Mr. Trump can be heard saying on the audio recording. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Raffensperger, a Republican, pushed back against Mr. Trump’s suggestion, telling him “the data you have is wrong.” He also repeatedly told Mr. Trump the results of the election were accurate and rebuffed the president’s unfounded claims. Mr. Trump lost the presidential race in Georgia to President-elect Joe Biden by 11,779 votes. Congress tallied the Electoral College votes and reaffirmed Mr. Biden’s win early Thursday.
Trump pressured Georgia official to find evidence of voter fraud The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ CBS News.