(AP) President Donald Trump put forth a dizzying array of fuzzy accounting and outright false claims in a call to Georgia’s secretary of state seeking a reversal of his election defeat, fabricating a slew of votes that he said should’ve been counted in his favor.
In the hour long conversation Saturday with Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, Trump suggested that the Republican “find” enough votes to hand Trump the victory.
The following is a look at Trump’s claims on the call and how they compare with reality:
TRUMP: “If we can go over some of the numbers, I think it’s pretty clear we won, we won very substantially in Georgia.”
THE FACTS: No, Trump lost Georgia in an election the state has certified for Democrat Joe Biden. Republican election officials have affirmed the election was conducted and counted fairly.
With ballots counted three times, including once by hand, Georgia’s certified totals show Trump lost to Biden by 11,779 votes out of nearly 5 million cast. Raffensperger certified the totals with officials saying they’ve found no evidence that Trump won.
No credible claims of fraud or systemic errors have been sustained. Judges have turned away legal challenges to the results, although at least one is still pending in state court.
TRUMP: “The other thing, dead people. So dead people voted. And I think the number is in the — close to 5,000 people. And they went to obituaries. They went to all sorts of methods to come up with an accurate number. And a minimum is close to about 5,000 voters.”
Raffensperger: “The actual number were two. Two. Two people that were dead that voted. And so that’s wrong,”
Raffensperger said two illegal votes on behalf of dead people have been confirmed, not thousands as Trump alleged. .
THE FACTS: Trump’s claim is Not true. Georgia officials have debunked previous claims by the Trump campaign in November that three particular people had voted illegally, finding that other people with similar names had voted. At the time, a local district attorney announced an investigation into whether a ballot had illegally been cast in the name of a northwest Georgia man who died in 2015.
TRUMP: “We think … if (there is) a real check of signatures going back in Fulton County, you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures.”
THE FACTS: That has no basis in reality.
It would be impossible for anyone to have forged hundreds of thousands of signatures on mail-in ballots in Fulton County because there were only about 147,000 mail-in ballots in Georgia’s most populous county, with about 116,000 of them going to Biden.
TRUMP: “It doesn’t pass the smell test, because we hear they’re shredding thousands and thousands of ballots and now what they’re saying (is) ‘Oh, we’re just cleaning up the office.’”
THE FACTS: The shredding in question was taking place in suburban Cobb County, not in Fulton County as Trump claimed. Cobb County elections officials said Nov. 24 that none of the items shredded by a contractor were “relevant to the election or the re-tally” and instead were things like old mailing labels, other papers with voter information, old emails and duplicates of absentee ballot applications.