Quote of the Day: “I Just Want to Find 11,780 Votes.”

Shealah Craighead/White House via ZUMA

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Apparently Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, recorded his most recent conversation with President Trump and it somehow made its way to the Washington Post. It is truly an emblem of our times:

The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”

….At another point, Trump said: “So look. 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.”…“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” Trump said, a phrase he repeated again and again on the call. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”

….The secretary of state repeatedly sought to push back, saying at one point, “Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, that — people can say anything.”

“Oh this isn’t social media,” Trump retorted. “This is Trump media. It’s not social media. It’s really not. It’s not social media. I don’t care about social media. I couldn’t care less.” At another point, Trump claimed that votes were scanned three times: “Brad, why did they put the votes in three times? You know, they put ’em in three times.” Raffensperger responded: “Mr. President, they did not. We did an audit of that and we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times.”

….Trump: “Do you think it’s possible that they shredded ballots in Fulton County? ’Cause that’s what the rumor is. And also that Dominion took out machines. That Dominion is really moving fast to get rid of their, uh, machinery. Do you know anything about that? Because that’s illegal.”

Germany responded: “No, Dominion has not moved any machinery out of Fulton County.”

Trump: “But have they moved the inner parts of the machines and replaced them with other parts?”

Germany: “No.”

Trump: “Are you sure? Ryan?”

Germany: “I’m sure. I’m sure, Mr. President.”

It was clear from the call that Trump has surrounded himself with aides who have fed his false perceptions that the election was stolen. When he claimed that more than 5,000 ballots were cast in Georgia in the name of dead people, Raffensperger responded forcefully: “The actual number was two. Two. Two people that were dead that voted.”

But later, Meadows said, “I can promise you there are more than that.”

For fucks sake.

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If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

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