Martha MacCallum grills Raffensperger on leaked phone call with Trump: Feels very much about a grudge

On Monday, Fox News host Martha MacCallum grilled an evasive Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger regarding the leak of a phone conversation he had with President Donald Trump over the weekend.

After stumbling through an explanation as to why he refused to take phone calls from President Donald Trump over the past several weeks, Raffensperger was initially vague about how a recording of the call made its way to the Washington Post.

“So, why did you decide to take the phone call this time? What was different this time?” MacCallum asked.

The GOP secretary of state responded with a denial.

“I didn’t know [the phone call] was being recorded. I just was at my home with my wife, I had it on speakerphone. But I didn’t record anything at my house,” Raffensperger said.

“But, uh, I was making notes, uh, but also then on Sunday morning [Trump] put out a Twitter. I thought we had a private conversation…just left unsaid it was private, but I thought it was man-to-man, just having a conversation…with the president of the United States,” he continued.

“But then he goes out on Twitter the next morning and says stuff that’s not true,” Raffensperger continued, noting that the president was the first to acknowledge the conversation publicly.

“Did you say OK, let’s release the audio of the phone call?” MacCallum asked.

“The information is out there,” Raffensperger, who as secretary of state is in charge of Georgia’s elections, offered. “It is what it is.”

But the host pressed further, noting the dodge.

“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?” she asked again.

Raffensperger was once again reluctant to directly address it.

“I think we had to respond to the president’s Twitter, and we responded with the facts that were in the call,” he said. “So that’s how it got out there. The world can make up their own decisions, listen to both sides. Both sides of the aisle.  Down the middle.  Make their own decisions.”

Reports claimed that advisers to Raffensperger recorded the call — ostensibly without President Trump’s knowledge — and then leaked the conversation to the Post, which published excerpts on Sunday.

MacCallum then changed her line of questioning, noting that some Republicans including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and incumbent Sens. David Perdue, thought that releasing the call ahead of two run-off elections Tuesday that will decide control of the upper chamber, was inappropriate.

After noting that Perdue, in an earlier interview with Fox News, called the leak of the conversation “disgusting,” MacCallum asked Raffensperger for his reaction.

“Senator Perdue owes my wife an apology after the death-threats after he asked for my resignation,” Raffensperger said. “I have not heard a peep from that man. If he wants to call me, I’ll talk to him off the record. But he hasn’t done that.”

“It feels like this is very much about a grudge between you and the president and … Perdue,” MacCallum responded, as the secretary of state interjected.

“It’s about getting the facts out,” Raffensperger said. “President Trump probably had eight-to-10 points. Every one of [the president’s] numbers were wrong. We have a poster board of the actual numbers that we have versus what they have. Our numbers will be supported in a court of law. Their numbers will not be.”


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Jon Dougherty


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