On January 2, 2021 then US President Donald Trump called Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger and urged him to change the states’ election results. Raffernsperger, a Republican, refused to intervene.
Now, as Trump faces trial over hush money paid during his 2016 presidential campaign, Georgia’s grand jury is considering whether to charge Trump over his alleged attempts to interfere with Georgia’s electoral system.
In episode seven of Defending Democracy with Malcolm Turnbull, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks to Brad Raffensperger, who has served as the Secretary of State of Georgia since 2019.
“We’ve both had one thing in common, which is very difficult phone call with Donald Trump,” Mr Turnbull says, as the pair discuss the infamous conversation, which was later leaked to media.
“I wanted to give him the facts, and I wanted to be respectful. Everyone can listen to it. It’s still out there, somewhere on the internet. He mentioned that he thought 5,000 dead people had voted. The Trump campaign had actually sued us, saying there are 10,000 dead people,” Mr Raffernsperger said.
The phone call lasted over an hour, with Trump repeatedly making claims of widespread voter fraud.
Mr Raffernsperger explained he recently learned Trump’s campaign paid over half a million dollars for researchers from Berkeley Research Group to study 2020 election results in six states, looking for fraud and irregularities to highlight in public and the courts.
“They had less than 25 dead people, but there weren’t 5,000. But I just respectively gave him the information. He raised several other concerns, and we came back with facts,” Mr Raffernsperger said.
“I wanted him to know that at the end of the day, he had bad data, and these are the facts. We did a 100 per cent recount, and he came up short.”
Defending Democracy with Malcolm Turnbull provides a trusted and insightful guide through one of the most consequential questions of our time: Are we witnessing the decline of liberal democracy? Listen to the podcast now on the Listnr app.