Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had no idea then-President Donald Trump’s infamous phone call demanding that he “find” votes for him after the election was being recorded, Raffensperger said Sunday.
Raffensperger’s staff told him there was a tape of the call after Trump lied about it in a tweet, he told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Trump claimed the call proved that Raffensperger didn’t have “a clue” about election issues. In fact, Raffensperger explained to the president that all claims had been investigated and rejected for lack of evidence.
The recording released to the press became one of most damaging to Trump and his baseless claims of a rigged election. Rather than pushing Raffensperger to seek evidence of possible wrongdoing, Trump directed him to “find” enough votes to transform his defeat into a victory.
“I won the state,” Trump declared about the election he had lost.
At one point, Trump may have honestly believed he “actually won,” Raffensperger told Todd. But the former president stubbornly stuck to his tale, even after “we had run down every single allegation” and not one stood up to scrutiny, Raffensperger added.
“He said there were 10,000 dead people. There were less than five,” Raffensperger recounted. “He said there were 66,000 underage voters. There were zero. And so you run down every single rabbit trail, none of it ever was supported by the facts.”
As for Trump’s order to “find” votes, “the numbers are the numbers,” he stated. “You can slice that, dice that, any way you want. But at the end of the day, President Trump came up 11,800 votes short.”
Raffensperger added: “I would never really not follow the Constitution, not follow the law” and throw a legitimate election.
Trump not only got fewer votes than Joe Biden, but thousands of GOP voters also left their choice for president blank, Raffensperger noted.
He said he would “gladly participate” in the current investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wilson into Trump’s attempts to influence the election. Raffensperger said several of his staff members have already spoken with investigators and documents have been turned over to Wilson’s office.
Check out Raffensperger’s full interview in the video up top. His comments about being unaware the call with Trump was being recorded begin at 4:20.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.