Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger would not answer when asked directly by Martha MacCallum of Fox News on Monday afternoon whether he was behind the release of an audio recording of his phone call with President Donald Trump on Saturday.
The call appears to show Trump pressuring Raffensperger to reconsider the certification of the state’s election results, believing that they were fraudulent. Democrats have claimed Trump was trying to steal the election in his conversation.
MacCallum asked Raffensperger about the call, and whether he was involved in recording it or leaking it to the media:
MacCallum: So why did you decide to take the phone call this time? What was different this time?
Raffensperger: I didn’t know it was being recorded. I just was at my home with my wife and I had it on speaker phone. But I didn’t record anything at my house. But I was making notes. But also, then, on Sunday morning, he put out a Twitter [sic]. I thought it we had a private conversation — just left unsaid that it was private, but I just though that it was man-to-man, having a conversation. So with the President of the United States. But he goes out and Twitter the next morning and says stuff that is not true. First of all, he releases that we did have a conversation. So I didn’t see what the issue was. Then, obviously, we did have a conversation. The whole world knows. He’s got 80 million Twitter followers. But then he also said stuff that wasn’t true. I was respectful in that.
MacCallum: Obviously you have a big difference of opinion on the way that the vote went in November. But I’m just very curious, we are 24 hours away from an election. So hat was the discussion? You say you didn’t realize that the phone call was recorded. At what point did you become aware that the phone call was recorded, and tell us about the decision to release the phone call, the audio of the phone call to the Washington Post?
Raffensperger: I think it was after Sunday when the Twitter came out. I didn’t see it, or anyway, I became aware of it, and anyway, so that recording is out there and now people can look at the entirety of the comments that were said. And then you can see what he said, versus what I said.
MacCallum: But were you consulted, and did you okay the release of the phone call? Did you say okay, let’s release the audio of the phone call?
Raffensperger: The information’s out there. And it is what it is.
MacCallum: That’s not an answer to my question. Are you going to answer my question? Were you aware of the decision and were you in favor of the decision to release the phone call, sir?
Raffensperger: I think that we had to respond to the President’s Twitter and we responded with the facts that were in the call. And that’s how it got out there. So now the world can just see what was in there, they can make up their own decisions, listen to the whole thing, both sides of the aisle, right down the middle. And they can make their own decisions.
MacCallum: All right, so that’s pretty clear, that you were aware that it was going to be released and that you were okay with that.
Asked how he felt about taking up so much attention on the eve of an election Republicans want to win, Raffensperger said that he believed Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who is on the ballot tomorrow, owed his wife an apology because of death threats received after Perdue called for his resignation over the administration of the November election.
He demanded that Perdue talk to him “off the record,” as well as “face-to-face.” Perdue is currently in quarantine due to exposure to a staff member with coronavirus