U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said a phone call made by President Donald Trump to the Georgia secretary of state urging him to “find” votes to prove his win is a “bald-faced, bold abuse of power” and a “voice of desperation.” Trump on Saturday reportedly called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger pushing him to overturn the November election results that delivered the state to President-elect Joe Biden. Biden won the state by 11,779 votes out of about 5 million cast.
The call came just days before Tuesday’s run-off elections in Georgia that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Trump’s hourlong phone call has been widely criticized, with many describing it as a “potential criminal act” and abuse of power.
During a campaign rally on Sunday for democratic Senate runoff candidates, Harris lashed out at the president over the controversial phone call. “Have y’all heard about that recorded conversation?” Harris asked the audience. “Well it was, yes, certainly, the voice of desperation, most certainly that, and it was a bald, bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the President of the United States.”
“And then look at the most recent history, which is that after you elected, you turned Georgia blue, you elected Joe Biden President of the United States, you elected the first black woman in the history of our country to be the Vice President of the United States, and they have the gall to suggest you didn’t know what you were doing, you must have gone about it in a way that was illegitimate,” she said.
Trump’s phone call is his latest move insisting that his defeat to Biden in the November election was due to widespread voter fraud, an allegation he is yet to provide any evidence for. In the hour-long call, Trump reportedly told Raffensperger that he wanted him to find nearly 12,000 votes so he could reverse Biden’s victory. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state,” he reportedly told Raffensperger on the call, adding “It’s not a problem that is going away.”
Reports say Republicans fear that the call could ruin their efforts to win two Senate races in Georgia on Tuesday. Republicans will retain control of the upper chamber if they win both Georgia Senate seats in the run-off election. However, if their candidates lose, Democrats will control the Senate, House of Representatives and White House.
On Monday, Biden, Trump, and Vice-president Mike Pence held rallies in the state for their chosen candidates ahead of Tuesday’s vote. Biden told Georgians that the results of the election could “chart the course, not just for the four years, but for the next generation”.