Senator David Perdue (R., Ga.) criticized Georgia’s secretary of state on Monday for a recording a phone call in which President Trump asked the secretary to “find” votes to overturn the election results.
“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 Raffensperger on a Saturday phone call, which was leaked to the Washington Post. Legal experts have suggested that Trump may have violated Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud.
Senator Perdue called Raffensperger’s decision to record the conversation “disgusting.”
“I guess I was raised differently,” Perdue told Fox News. “To have a statewide elected official, regardless of party, tape without disclosing a conversation—private conversation—with the president of the United States, and then leaking it to the press is disgusting.” Raffensperger reportedly didn’t want to release the recording unless Trump misrepresented the conversation, which he did over the weekend in a series of tweets accusing the secretary of refusing to investigate instances of voter fraud.
Regarding the substance of the call, Perdue said, “I didn’t hear anything in that tape that the president hasn’t already said for weeks now since the November election.”
One of Raffensperger’s advisers defended the decision to record the call with Trump in comments to Politico.
Trump “is a man who has a history of reinventing history as it occurs,” the adviser said. “So if he’s going to try to dispute anything on the call, it’s nice to have something like this, hard evidence, to dispute whatever he’s claiming about the secretary. Lindsey Graham asked us to throw out legally cast ballots. So yeah, after that call, we decided maybe we should do this.”
Perdue is facing Democrat Jon Ossoff in a runoff election on Tuesday, while his Georgia colleague Kelly Loeffler is competing against Raphael Warnock. If both Democrats win, the Senate will be tied 50-50 with incoming vice president Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
Many Republicans have expressed concern that Trump’s allegations of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, as well as frequent attacks against state Republicans, will depress GOP voter turnout ahead of the elections. Trump is scheduled to lead a rally in Dalton, Ga., in support of Perdue and Loeffler later on Monday.