Trump’s threats not so veiled

The president warns Georgia's secretary of state of legal retaliation for not coming up with the 11,780 votes necessary to flip the vote in his favor.

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Editorials

January 5, 2021 - 9:55 AM

Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, delivered a scathing refutation on Monday of President Trump’s false claims of voter fraud. Photo by (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

An hour-long weekend phone call between President Donald Trump and Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, underscores how badly detached Trump is from the facts and how desperate he is to overturn a legitimate election that didn’t go his way. There’s a good possibility he broke the law by appearing to threaten Raffensperger with legal retaliation for not coming up with the 11,780 votes Trump pleaded for him to manipulate in the president’s favor.

Defenders of democracy don’t behave this way. But desperate despots do. Trump’s delusional insistence that he actually won the Georgia election by 400,000 votes, as opposed to the 11,779 he lost by, suggests he no longer has a grip on reality.

“I mean, you know, and I didn’t lose the state, Brad. People have been saying that it was the highest vote ever. There was no way,” Trump told Raffensperger, alleging without proof that 5,000 dead people voted and that thousands of out-of-state residents cast votes in Georgia. No amount of facts offered by Raffensperger would persuade Trump to back away from demanding the announcement of a new, manipulated vote count.

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