President Donald Trump made a number of “demonstrably false” claims during his controversial phone call to pressure Georgia’s foreign minister to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s victory there, a senior election official said Monday.
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, rejected Trump’s claims point by point at a press conference two days after Trump relied on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” during an unprecedented one-hour phone call. The president has enough votes to beat Biden.
During that call, recorded by officials in Raffensperger’s office, Trump made a series of allegations of alleged voting irregularities in Georgia’s presidential election that resulted in Biden’s unjust victory.
The president and his allies elsewhere have made similar allegations relating to offenders, minors and dead people who allegedly cast ballots.
“The reason I have to be here today is because there are people in positions of authority and respect who have said their votes didn’t count, and that’s not true,” said Sterling.
“And I’ll do it again, and I’ll go through it all, Anti-Disinformation Monday.”
Standing next to a chart that read “Claim vs. Fact” with two lines below each of these words, Sterling said, “This is all easily and demonstrably wrong.”
“Still, the president remains in place, undermining the confidence of Georgians in the electoral system, especially Georgian Republican in this case,” he said.
Sterling also said the Trump campaign lawyers “deliberately misled” the public by claiming that a videotape showed fraudulent votes given to Biden during an election count.
Sterling suggested that Trump’s allegations could hurt Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in their runoff elections on Tuesday for Georgia’s Senate seats, where they face major challenges from Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively.
There are concerns among GOP leaders that Trump’s allegations of widespread electoral fraud in Georgia and Perdues and Loeffler’s support for the president’s rhetoric could dampen Republican voter turnout.
Sterling urged voters to register for Tuesday’s election races even if they had concerns about electoral integrity.
“I’m not admitting that there was massive electoral fraud because there wasn’t. But if you believe in your heart, it is best for you to emerge and vote and make it harder to steal,” he said.
Sterling seemed upset as he quickly ran over claims made by Trump and his allies.
“I’ll admit after listening to the audio from [Trump’s] Phone call … I wanted to scream – well, I was screaming at the computer, and I was screaming and talking about it in my car, on the radio, because it was exposed, “Sterling said.
Referring to the nearby chart and Trump’s claims, Sterling said, “Nobody changes parts or parts of Dominion voting machines.”
“That said, that’s – I don’t even know what that means. That’s not a real thing,” added Sterling.
“It’s not shredded. It’s not real.”
Trump’s call to Raffensperger sparked speculation that the president could face criminal prosecution for attempting to influence a state official to change the results of an election.
When asked whether the undersecretary, who did not appear at the press conference, considered asking Georgia’s attorney general or a local district attorney to investigate Trump over the call, Sterling said, “I don’t know.”
“I will leave other people to make the decision,” Sterling said when asked if the call was an attack on democracy. “Personally, I thought it was something that was abnormal and out of place, and no one I know who would become president would do that to a secretary of state.”
“Trump probably had eight to ten points [during the call]”Every one of his numbers was wrong,” Raffensperger said later Monday during a controversial interview with Fox News. “Our numbers will be confirmed in court.” Your numbers won’t be. “
Congress will meet on Wednesday to confirm Biden’s victory in the electoral college. A planned effort by a number of GOP senators and members of the House of Representatives to question the results of several battlefield states won by Biden is likely to fail.