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Georgia's Raffensperger leaked 'smoking gun' after Trump said he had 'no clue'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo taken on December 05, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump speaking at a rally to support Republican Senate candidates at Valdosta Regional Airport in Valdosta, Georgia. (Photo by AFP)

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has leaked the "smoking gun" tape after US President Donald Trump said he had "no clue".

Raffensperger revealed on Monday that he leaked the tape after Trump attacked the Republican state official, claiming he had "no clue" about the election fraud in Georgia. 

He said he had recorded the tape, yet he decided to leak it only after Trump disclosed the existence of the call, and attacked him on Twitter. 

The tape revealed Trump pressuring Raffensperger, begging, threatening and flattering him while pleading with him to "find 11,780" votes for him in the state to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory which he won by less than 12,000 votes there.

"I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia," Trump tweeted on Sunday. "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's tweet referenced some of the allegations and conspiracy theories he had raised in the call with Raffensperger, pressuring the Georgian official to turn votes in his favor.

Raffensperger and his lawyer had repeatedly resisted or sought to counter Trump's pressure in the hour-long phone conversation.

'Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out,' Raffensperger replied to Trump's tweet later on Sunday from his official account.

Meanwhile, Georgia voters are heading to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots in pivotal runoff elections that will determine the balance of power in the US Senate.

According to Raffensperger’s office more than 3 million Georgia residents have already cast ballots in the two races during the early voting period that started December 14.

David Perdue, one of the two sitting senators facing a battle for survival claimed Raffensperger’s tape would not have an impact on the vote.

However, he described Raffensperger’s move as "disgusting" in an interview with Fox News.

Prior to this Perdue had called on Raffensperger to resign from his post for failing to garner votes for Trump, creating a grudging split between the two Georgian Republicans.

Trump himself headed to Georgia on Monday for a rally which Republicans fear he will use to vent grievances rather than get out the vote needed for Perdue and Kelly Loeffler for Republicans to retain their majority in Senate.

Biden, also, departing for Georgia where he is scheduled to campaign with Democratic candidates Senate, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock.

Earlier, Trump had vowed to take revenge on any Republican politician who failed to show all-out backing for his campaign, tweeting "Republicans NEVER FORGET."

However, investigative journalist Carl Bernstein warned Republicans that Trump’s recorded call with Raffensperger was a "smoking gun", describing leaked tape as a scandal "worse than Watergate."

The famous journalist advised Republicans to distance themselves from Trump and his loyalists if they wanted to salvage any decency left for the conservative American political party.

Bernstein said the GOP's failure to denounce Trump's statements during the call could lead to '"he end of the Republican Party as a constructive, decent force in our politics in this country."

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and a group of Republican senators, named the "Dirty Dozen" by US media, intend to challenge Biden's victory on Wednesday in Congress.

Trump loyalist, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R- TN) , who is a member of the Dirty Dozen outfit told Fox News that Raffensperger's "smoking gun" tape "was not helpful."

Vice President Mike Pence will preside as both House and Senate to confirm Biden's election victory on January 6 in Congress.

 

 


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