Rudy Giuliani insisted that Trump declare victory in Michigan before the state was called, a new book says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaks during a Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee public hearing at the Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel to discuss 2020 election issues and irregularities on November 25, 2020 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

  • Giuliani wanted Trump to preemptively declare victory in Michigan, a new book says.
  • “If we don’t say we won, they will steal it from us,” Giuliani contended.
  • Giuliani’s preemptive claims of a stolen election concerned Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien.
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Michigan was a key state in former President Donald Trump’s electoral calculus for winning a second term in office.

In 2016, Trump narrowly won the Wolverine State by chipping away at the blue-collar base that had long powered wins by Democratic presidential nominees.

Last November, the former president’s campaign team knew that the state’s 16 electoral votes would be pivotal in a race against now-President Joe Biden.

However, before the race was called in Michigan for Biden, then-Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani wanted the former president to preemptively declare victory in the key swing state, according to a forthcoming book by Michael Wolff.

As the election results were coming in, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien was reportedly concerned that Giuliani was “getting through” to the former president about embracing the message of a stolen election.

Wolff detailed the incident in “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency,” an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

According to the book, Stepien complained to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, senior advisor Stephen Miller, and deputy campaign manager Justin Clark about Giuliani’s conduct regarding Trump and the election.

Read more: Joe Biden just fired a top Trump holdover at the Social Security Administration, but these 7 other Trump-era officials are still holding high-level government positions

“He’s just telling him things that are not true,” Stepien reportedly said to the group.

The group of men soon pulled Giuliani aside in the White House China Room, and according to the book, Giuliani “had too much to drink” and was “fumbling through devices.”

“We’ve won! We need to declare victory!” Giuliani told the group.

When Stepien gently chided Giuliani about what he knew that was unknown to the rest of the group, the former New York City mayor raised the prospect of a corrupt election.

“If we don’t say we won, they will steal it from us,” Giuliani added. “Look, we’ve won Michigan!”

Stepien pointedly told Giuliani that Trump had not won the state, as it had not been called yet.

“We have to say won it! Otherwise they will steal it!” Giuliani responded.

Meadows, who has “a small tolerance for drunks,” according to the book, shut down Giuliani’s request.

“No, we are not going to do that because we will look foolish,” he said. “Things are moving too fast. We can’t put the president in the position of looking like he doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

Biden went on to carry Michigan by a 51%-48% margin, buoyed by strong performances in Detroit and its populous suburbs, along with decisive wins in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.

Trump would go on to publicly call into question Biden’s win in Michigan, blasting the Democratic stronghold of Detroit as “corrupt” despite no evidence of mass voter fraud.

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Mark Meadows was ‘consumed with fear’ that Trump would die from COVID-19, book says

Former president Donald Trump and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows
President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, on Marine One helicopter after he tested positive for COVID-19. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is at second from left.

  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was “consumed with fear” that Trump would die from COVID.
  • The White House was wholly caught off guard and unprepared for a COVID outbreak in October.
  • The behind-the-scenes panic over Trump’s illness is documented in the book “Nightmare Scenario.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was “consumed with fear” that former President Donald Trump would die from COVID-19, according to a new book by two Washington Post reporters.

A new excerpt of the book, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” detailed the White House’s chaotic response to Trump’s October 2020 COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization. The book, written by Yasmeen Abultaeb and Damian Paletta, is due for release on June 29.

Despite flouting COVID protocols like mask-wearing and social distancing for months, the White House was fully caught off guard by the COVID-19 outbreak that swept through the complex in October, infecting both Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

Read more: Entire paychecks going to day care, swiping free food: 8 congressional staffers break down how they stretch their salaries in expensive DC

Many officials were kept in the dark about the severity of Trump’s illness, and the White House didn’t even have a plan in place to swear in Vice President Mike Pence if Trump became immobilized or indisposed from his illness, the authors revealed.

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution allows the president themself or members of the president’s cabinet to temporarily transfer the powers of the presidency to the vice-president.

As previously reported, Trump was a high-risk patient due to his age and weight, and spiked a high fever while his blood oxygen levels dropped to dangerously low levels.

The book also documented the behind-the-scenes scramble at the Food & Drug Administration to secure compassionate-use authorization of an experimental monoclonal antibody treatment not yet authorized for widespread use, for Trump’s treatment.

At Walter Reed Medical Center, Trump received multiple drug therapies not available to most of the American public, and steroids that helped him recover from COVID-19.

Trump becoming even more seriously ill or dying just four weeks before the 2020 presidential election would have would have thrown the administration and the US’ future into disarray.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump’s chief of staff pressed the Justice Department to investigate the bizarre conspiracy theory that people in Italy meddled in the 2020 election using military satellites

Trump Mark Meadows
President Donald Trump speaks as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (R) listens prior to Trump’s Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House July 29, 2020 for a fundraising luncheon and other events in Texas..

  • New emails show that Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, was involved in the bid to overturn the election.
  • The emails show Meadows pressured the Justice Department to investigate election fraud conspiracy theories.
  • It’s considered highly inappropriate for White House officials to try to get the DoJ involved in political cases.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Mark Meadows, who served as chief of staff in Donald Trump’s White House, pressed the Justice Department to investigate several conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, according to reports.

The New York Times first reported Saturday that in emails between December and January to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Meadows pressed him to investigate the baseless theories that the presidential election was stolen from Trump due to mass fraud or foreign meddling.

Among the claims, Meadows pushed was the bizarre ‘Italygate’ conspiracy theory. Its supporters invented a narrative that allies of Joe Biden in Italy could flip the result of the election using military satellites.

In other emails, Meadows discussed unsubstantiated claims of mass fraud in New Mexico and Georgia, pushed by Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

The report was later confirmed by CNN and The Washington Post.

The emails were recovered as part of a Senate Judiciary Committee probe into whether the Justice Department had been involved in Trump’s attempt to overturn the election result.

Meadows’ campaign to get the Justice Department to investigate the conspiracy theories is highly controversial as White House officials should not seek Justice Department investigations for political purposes.

According to the Times, the emails do not show that Rosen opened investigations into any conspiracy theories. Another email showed Rosen refused to broker a meeting between the FBI and a man who’d promoted the Italygate conspiracy theory in online videos.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told CNN that the “new evidence underscores the depths of the White House’s efforts to co-opt the department and influence the electoral vote certification. This is a fire alarm fire for our democracy.”

Insider has contacted Meadows for comment on the reports.

Trump and his allies’ election fraud conspiracy theories fuelled the January 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

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Mark Meadows says Facebook’s Trump decision is ‘a sad day for America,’ and will make the GOP more likely to support breaking up big tech companies

mark meadows
  • Mark Meadows lamented the Facebook Oversight Board’s decision Wednesday.
  • The former Trump chief of staff said the ban is “a sad day for America.”
  • Meadows also indicated Trump’s ban will make Republicans more likely to support anti-trust bills.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows decried the Facebook Oversight Board’s decision Wednesday morning to uphold former President Donald Trump’s ban.

“It’s a sad day for America,” Meadows said during an appearance on Fox News.

Meadows’ reaction came right as the news arrived, with anchor Bill Hemmer reading the top line of the decision live on-air.

After Facebook shut down Trump’s account following the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill, the matter was referred to the Oversight Board for further review.

“The Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7 to suspend then-President Trump from Facebook and Instagram. Trump’s posts during the Capitol riot severely violated Facebook’s rules and encouraged and legitimized violence,” the Oversight Board said in a tweet.

However, the board added that it was “not appropriate” for Facebook to “impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.”

Beyond the specifics of Trump’s ban, Meadows indicated that the decision may make Congressional Republicans more in favor of anti-trust legislation to break up big tech companies.

“It’s a sad day for Facebook, ’cause I can tell you, a number of members of Congress are now looking at, do they break up Facebook?” Meadows said. “Do they make sure that they don’t have a monopoly?”

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Mark Meadows says all the top 2024 GOP candidates ‘have Trump as their last name’

donald ivanka jr trump
President-elect Donald Trump, center, stands next to Allen Weisselberg, second from left, Donald Trump Jr., right and Ivanka Trump, left, at a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Weisselberg, chief financial officer for Donald Trump, is now in the sights of the federal probes and congressional investigations of President Donald Trump’s family business.

  • Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News on Thursday night that the top GOP 2024 presidential contenders are all named Trump.
  • Meadows said Donald Trump’s CPAC speech on Sunday will offer a glimpse of “what the future may look like.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News on Thursday night that the Republican Party is already looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election and that the top GOP contenders are all named Trump. 

Meadows, who said he talked with former President Donald Trump on Wednesday, said the former president’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday in Orlando, Florida will offer a glimpse of “what the future may look like.” He added that Trump remains the leader of the divided party. 

“On Sunday, we will see the start of planning for the next administration and I can tell you, the people that are at the top of that list, all of the have Trump as their last name,” Meadows told opinion host and Trump ally Sean Hannity. 

Trump has reportedly said he plans to run for reelection in 2024 and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Don Jr., are both widely viewed as potential future candidates for office.

Since leaving office, Trump has continued to spread lies that he won the 2020 presidential election and that Democrats engaged in widespread voter fraud. Meadows said Trump will take about his “America First” agenda and attack President Joe Biden’s actions in office. It will be Trump’s first speech since he left office and was impeached for inciting the deadly January 6 Capitol riot. 

“You’re going to see a speech on Sunday that talks about not only the beginning, but what the future may look like, and I’m excited about it,” said Meadows, formerly the chair of the House Freedom Caucus. 

Also during Hannity’s Thursday night program, Trump Jr. mocked Republican politicians who “lose gracefully” and said his father showed “you don’t have to do that, you can actually push back.” And he insisted that his father remains the most powerful figure in the GOP. 

“If you’re reading the room and you’re intelligent, you realize that Donald Trump is still the future of the Republican party,” he said. 

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As he faced death threats, Fauci said he once opened an envelope that contained a ‘puff of powder’ he feared was anthrax or ricin

trump fauci birx
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a White House press conference in March 2020 while flanked by advisers Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci.

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed that last year he opened a letter that contained a then-unidentified “puff of powder.”

Fauci said when he opened the letter, a powder immediately covered his face and chest. His beefed-up security detail, which was brought on after he began receiving threats, advised Fauci to stay still before a hazmat team “sprayed him down.”

“It was a benign nothing,” Fauci said of the substance found in the envelope. “But it was frightening. My wife and my children were more disturbed than I was. I looked at it somewhat fatalistically. It had to be one of three things: A hoax. Or anthrax, which meant I’d have to go on Cipro for a month. Or if it was ricin, I was dead, so bye-bye.”

Fauci told The New York Times over the weekend he began receiving death threats on March 28 last year, not long after he took on a high-profile role in the fight against COVID-19, often appearing at the White House meetings and press briefings. But Fauci and Trump often seemed at odds during the former president’s final year in office, as Trump and his allies often publicly flouted Fauci and science-driven approaches to the pandemic. 

Read more: Ted Cruz’s ‘Pittsburgh over Paris’ campaign shows us just how dumb the Biden years are going to be

Fauci said Trump would sometimes call him after he gave an interview, asking why he didn’t provide a more “positive” outlook on the pandemic, which has now killed more than 400,000 people in the US. Other advisers, like former chief of staff Mark Meadows, would call Fauci to ask why he had contradicted the president, according to the report.

In the interview, Fauci also said he made it a point during the prior administration to avoid “proactively” criticizing Trump but said he would do so if asked by a reporter to respond to a specific claim made by the former president. At a White House press briefing last week, Fauci said it was “liberating” to no longer be working with Trump.

Despite the threats against his life and pushback from the Trump administration, Fauci told The New York Times he never considered leaving his longtime role, even though his wife had suggested the possibility.  

In the interview, Fauci, currently serving as the chief medical adviser to Biden, said he wasn’t sure how many more years he planned to work, but indicated he wasn’t ready to depart Washington or his office in nearby Bethesda, Maryland, anytime soon.

“I think what I bring to the table is something that’s very much value-added,” he said.”I want to keep doing it until I see us crushing this outbreak, so that people can get back to normality. And even after then, I’ve left some unfinished business.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump reportedly granted Secret Service protections to all his adult children and 3 top officials before he left the White House. It will cost US taxpayers millions.

trump leaving white house final time
Outgoing US President Donald Trump waves as he boards Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2021

  • Former President Donald Trump granted extended Secret Service protections to his four adult children and their spouses before he left the White House, The Washington Post reported.
  • Former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and former National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien will also receive the expensive, full-time security detail.
  • The extended security detail could cost taxpayers millions of dollars, especially given the amount of traveling that the Trump children do related to the family company.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former President Donald Trump extended Secret Service protections for all of his adult children and their spouses, as well as three top administration officials, just before leaving the White House, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The taxpayer-funded security will be extended to Trump’s four adult children and their spouses – Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and wife Lara Trump, and Tiffany Trump, three people familiar with the president’s request told The Post. Trump’s grandchildren will also be included in the protections deriving from that of their parents.

Former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and former National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien were also granted Secret Service protections by the president, according to The Post report.

The extended security detail could cost taxpayers millions of dollars, The Post reported, especially given the amount of traveling that the Trump children do related to the family company, the Trump Organization.

“From 2017 to 2019, government records show, Trump family members took more than 4,500 trips that required the Secret Service to travel alongside them, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars,” according to The Post report.

Read more: Biden’s inauguration is unlike any before. Photos show how his ceremony compares to those of previous presidents.

Typically, Trump and his wife Melania are automatically granted the expensive 24-hour protection for their lifetimes, and their 14-year-old son Barron will receive such protections until the age of 16. Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence are also entitled to full-time security detail post-administration for the next six months.

Trump isn’t the first president to extend Secret Service protections to those who aren’t automatically entitled to receive them. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush granted security details to their college-age daughters for a period of time following their terms. Former President Barack Obama extended protections to his daughters Sasha and Malia after he left office, who were in high school and college respectively.

The news of the security detail extension comes on the heels of President Joe Biden being inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States just before noon on Wednesday. Just hours before, Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump left the White House aboard Marine One to Palm Beach, Florida.

The Secret Service is also prepping to grant protections to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and their families, including Biden’s two adult children and Harris’ two stepchildren.

Read the original article on Business Insider

AUDIO TRANSCRIPT: Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to ‘find’ votes to overturn Biden’s statewide win

trump kudlow oval office
President Donald Trump.

In an hour-long phone recording released by The Washington Post, President Donald Trump on January 2 repeatedly pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” additional votes to secure a win in the state’s presidential contest. In the November general election, President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia by nearly 13,000 votes out of roughly 5 million votes cast.

The call includes Trump; Raffensperger; White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; attorney Cleta Mitchell; the Georgia Secretary of State office’s general counsel, Ryan Germany; Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs; and Trump attorney Kurt Hilbert.

You can read a transcript below.

Mark Meadows: So Mr. President, everybody is on the line. And just, so this is Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, just so we all are aware. On the line is secretary of state, and two other individuals, Jordan and Mr. Germany with him; you also have the attorneys that represent the president, Kurt and Alex and Cleta Mitchell, who is not the attorney of record, but has been involved; myself; and then the president. So Mr. President, I’ll turn it over to you.

President Trump: Okay. Thank you very much. Hello, Brad and Ryan and everybody, we appreciate the time and the call. So we’ve spent a lot of time on this, and if we could just go over some of the numbers, I think it’s pretty clear that we won. We won very substantially, Georgia. You even see it by rally size, frankly; we’d be getting 25-30,000 people, a rally, and the competition would get less than 100 people, and it never made sense. But we have a number of things. We have at least, anywhere from 250 to 300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that had to do with Fulton County, which hasn’t been checked. We think that if you check the signatures, a real check of the signatures going back in Fulton County, you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures – of people who have been forged. And we are quite sure that’s going to happen.

Another tremendous number, we’re going to have an accurate number over the next two days with certified accountants, but an accurate number will be given, but it’s in the fifties of thousands, and that’s people that went to vote and they were told they can’t vote because they’ve already been voted for. And it’s a very sad thing. They walked out complaining, but the number’s large, we’ll have it for you, but it’s much more than the number of 11,779. The current margin is only 11,779. Brad, I think you agree with that, right? I think at least that’s a number that everyone agrees on, but that’s the difference in the votes. But we had hundreds of thousands of ballots that we’re able to ,actually, we’ll get you a pretty accurate number.

You don’t need much of a number because the number that, in theory I lost by the margin would be 11,779, but you also have a substantial numbers of people, thousands and thousands who went to the voting place on November 3rd, were told they couldn’t vote, were told they couldn’t vote because a ballot had been put in on their name, and you know that’s very, very, very, very sad. We had, I believe it’s about 4,502 voters who voted, but who weren’t on the voter registration list. So it’s 4,502 who voted, but they were not on the voter registration roll, which they had to be. You had 18,325 vacant address voters, the address was vacant, and they’re not allowed to be counted. That’s 18,325, a smaller number. You had 904 who only voted where they had just a PO, a post office box number. And they had a post office box number and that’s not allowed.

We had at least 18,000, that’s on tape, we had them counted, very painstakingly, 18,000 voters having to do with (beep), she’s a vote scammer, a professional vote scammer and hustler, (beep). That was the tape that’s been shown all over the world that makes everybody look bad. You, me and everybody else, where number one, they said very clearly, and it’s been reported that they said there was a major water main break. Everybody fled the area. And then they came back, (beep) and her daughter and a few people. There was no Republican poll watchers. Actually, there were no Democrat poll watchers, I guess they were them, but there were no Democrats either, and there was no law enforcement.

Early in the morning, they went to the table with the black robe, the black shield, and they pulled out the votes. Those votes were put there a number of hours before. The table was put there, I think it was – Brad, you would know – it was probably eight hours or seven hours before. And then it was stuffed with votes. They weren’t in an official voter box, they were in what looked to be suitcases or trunks, suitcases, but they weren’t in voter boxes. The minimum number it could be because we watched it, and they watched it, certified in slow motion, instant replay, if you can believe it, but had slow motion. And it was magnified many times over and the minimum, it was was 18,000 ballots, all for Biden.

You had out-of-state voters, they voted in Georgia, but they were from out of state, of 4,925. You had absentee ballots sent to vacant addresses; they had nothing on them about addresses. That’s 2,326. And you had drop boxes, which was very bad. You had drop boxes that were picked up, we have photographs and we have affidavits for many people. I don’t know if you saw the hearings, but you have drop boxes where the box was picked up and not delivered for three days. So all sorts of things could have happened to that box, including putting in the votes that you wanted.

So there are many infractions and the bottom line is many, many times the 11,779 margin that they said we lost by. I mean, the state is in turmoil over this, and I know you would like to get to the bottom of it. Although I saw you on television today, and you said that you found nothing wrong, I mean, you know. And I didn’t lose the state, Brad. People have been saying that it was the highest vote ever. There was no way. A lot of the political people said that there’s no way they beat me. And they beat me. They beat me in the, as you know, every single state, we won every state, we won every state house in the country. We held the Senate, which is shocking to people, although we’ll see what happens tomorrow or in a few days. And we won the House. But we won every single state house. And we won Congress, which was supposed to lose 15 seats, and they gained, I think, 16 or 17 or something. I think there’s now a difference of five. There was supposed to be a difference substantially more. But politicians in every state, but politicians in Georgia have given affidavits and are going to, that there was no way they’d beat me in the election, that the people came out.

In fact, they were expecting to lose, and they ended up winning by a lot because of the coattails. And they said there’s no way, that they’ve done many polls prior to the election, there was no way that they won. Ballots were dropped in massive numbers, and we’re trying to get to those numbers, and we will have them, they’ll take a period of time, certified. But they’re massive numbers, and far greater than the 11,779. The other thing, dead people. So dead people voted. And I think the number is 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. The bottom line is, when you add it all up, and then you start adding, you know, 300,000 fake ballots, then the other thing they said is in Fulton County and other areas, and this may or may not be, because it’s just came up this morning, that they are burning their ballots, that they are shredding ballots and removing equipment. They’re changing the equipment on the Dominion machines, and that’s not legal. And they supposedly shredded, I think they said 3,000 pounds of ballots, and that just came to us as a report today. And yeah, it’s a very sad situation.

But Brad, if you took the minimum numbers were many, many times above the 11,779, and many of those numbers are certified or they will be certified, but they are certified. So those are numbers that are there, and that exist, that beat the margin of loss. They beat it, I mean, by a lot, and people should be happy to have an accurate count, so instead of an election with this turmoil. I mean, there’s turmoil in Georgia and other places. You’re not the only one. I mean, we have other states that I believe will be flipping to us very shortly, but this is something that’s – you know, as an example, I think in Detroit, and I think there’s a good section of your state actually, which we’re not sure, so we’re not going to report it yet, but in Detroit we had I think it was 139% of the people voted. That’s not too good.

In Pennsylvania, they had well over 200,000 more votes than they had people voting. And that doesn’t play too well. And the legislature there, which is Republican, is extremely activist and angry. But I mean, there were other things also that were almost as bad as that, but they had, as an example of Michigan, a tremendous number of dead people that voted. I think, Mark, it was 18,000, some unbelievably high number, much higher than yours. You were in the 4 to 5,000 category, and that was checked out laboriously by going through the obituary columns in the newspapers.

So I guess with all of it being said, Brad, it’s the bottom line and provisional ballots again, you know, you’ll have to tell me about the provisional ballots, but we have a lot of people that were complaining that they weren’t able to vote because they were already voted for, and these are great people, and you know they were shell shocked. I don’t know if you call that, “provisional ballots.” In some states, we had a lot of provisional ballot situations where people were given a provisional ballot because when they walked into November 3rd, they were already voted for.

So that’s it. I mean, we have many, many times the number of votes necessary to win this state, and we won the state, and we won it very substantially and easily, and we’re getting, much of this is, they’re certified, far more are certified than we need, but we’re getting additional numbers certified too, and we’re getting pictures of drop boxes being delivered, and delivered late, and delivered three days later, in some cases, plus we have many affidavits to that effect.

Mark Meadows: So Mr. President, if I might be able to jump in and I’ll give Brad a chance. Mr. Secretary, obviously there are allegations where we believe that not every vote, or fair vote, and legal vote, was counted. And that’s at odds with the representation from the secretary of state’s office. What I’m hopeful for is, is there some way that we can find some kind of agreement to look at this a little bit more fully. The president mentioned Fulton County, but in some of these areas where there seems to be a difference of where the facts seem to lead. And so Mr. Secretary, I was hopeful that in a spirit of cooperation and compromise is there something that we can at least have a discussion to look at some of these allegations, to find a path forward that’s less litigious?

Brad Raffensperger: Well, I’ve listened to what the president has just said. President Trump, we’ve had several lawsuits and we’ve had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions. We don’t agree that you have one, and I didn’t agree about the 200,000 number that you’d had mentioned. And I could go through that point by point. What we have done is we gave our state Senate about one and a half hours of our time, going through the election issue by issue. And then on the state House, the Government Affairs Committee, we gave them about two and a half hours of our time, going back point by point on all the issues of contention. And then just a few days ago, we met with our US congressmen, Republican congressmen, and we gave them about two hours of our time talking about this past election. Going back, primarily what you’ve talked about here, focused in on primarily, I believe, is the absentee ballot process. I don’t believe that you’re really questioning the Dominion machines, because we did a hand re-tally, a 100% re-tally of all the ballots, and compared that to what the machine said, and it came up with virtually the same result. Then we did the recount, we got virtually the same result. So I guess we could probably take that off the table, I don’t think there’s an issue about that. I think what you were-

President Trump: Well, Brad, not that there’s not an issue, because we have a big issue with Dominion in other states, and perhaps in yours, but we haven’t felt we needed to go there. And just to maybe put a little different spin on what Mark is saying, Mark Meadows. Yeah, we’d like to go further, but we don’t really need to, we have all the votes we need. You know, we won the state. These are the most minimal numbers, the numbers that I gave you.

Those are numbers that are certified, your absentee ballots sent to vacant addresses, your out-of-state voters, 4,925. You know, when you add them up, it’s many times the 11,779 number. So we could go through, we have not gone through your Dominion, so we can’t give them blessing. I mean, in other states we think we’ve found tremendous corruption with Dominion machines, but we’ll have to see. But we only lost the state by that number, 11,779. So with that being said, with just what we have, we’re giving you minimum numbers. We’re doing the most conservative numbers possible. We’re many times, many, many times above the margin, and so we don’t really have to. Mark, I don’t think we have to go through the machines, because what’s the difference between winning the election by two votes and winning it by a half a million votes? I think probably did win it by a half a million.

One of the things that happened, Brad, is we have other people coming in now from Alabama and from South Carolina and from other states, and they’re saying, “It’s impossible for you to have lost Georgia.” We won. You know, in Alabama we set a record, got the highest vote ever. In Georgia, we set a record with a massive amount of votes, and they say it’s not possible to have lost Georgia. I could tell you by our rallies. I could tell you by the rally I’m having on Monday night. The place, they already have lines of people standing out front waiting. It’s just not possible to have lost Georgia. It’s not possible. When I heard it was close, I said, “There’s no way,” but they dropped a lot of votes in there late at night. You know that, Brad, and that’s what we are working on very, very stringently.

But regardless of those votes, all of it being said, we lost by essentially 11,000 votes, and we have many more votes already calculated and certified too. So I just don’t know. Mark, I don’t know what’s the purpose. I won’t give Dominion a pass because we found too many bad things, but we don’t need Dominion or anything else. We have won this election in Georgia based on all of this, and there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. I mean, having a correct – the people of Georgia are angry, and these numbers are going to be repeated on Monday night, along with others that we’re going to have by that time, which are much more substantial even, and the people of Georgia are angry. The people of the country are angry, and there’s nothing wrong saying that you’ve recalculated, because the 2,236 in absentee ballots, I mean, they’re all exact numbers that were done by accounting firms, law firms, et cetera, and even if you cut them in half, cut them in half and cut them in half again, it’s more votes than we need.

Brad Raffensperger: Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong. We talked to the congressmen, and they were surprised, but I guess there’s a person named Mr. Braynard that came to these meetings and presented data, and he said that there was dead people. I believe it was upward of 5,000. The actual number were two. Two. Two people that were dead that voted, and so that’s wrong. That was two.

President Trump: Well, Cleta, how do you respond to that? I mean, you tell me.

Cleta Mitchell: What I will say, Mr. Secretary, one of the things that we have requested, and what we said was, and if you read our petition, it said that we took the names and birth years, and we had certain information available to us. We have asked from your office for records that only you have, and so we said there’s a universe of people who had the same name and same birth year and die, but we don’t have the records that you have. And one of the things that we have been suggesting, formally and informally, for weeks now, is for you to make available to us the records that would be necessary to confirm.

President Trump: Cleta, even before you do that, and not even including that. That’s why I hardly even included that number, although, in one state we have a tremendous amount of dead people, so I don’t know. I’m sure we do in Georgia too. I’m sure we do in Georgia, too. But we’re so far ahead. We’re so far ahead of these numbers, even the phony ballots of (beep), known scammer. You know the internet? You know what was trending on the internet? Where’s (beep), because they thought she would be in jail. Where’s (beep)? It’s crazy. It’s crazy. The minimum number is 18,000 for (beep), but they think it’s probably about 56,000, but the minimum number is 18,000. (Beep), where she ran back in there when everybody was gone and stuffed. She stuffed the ballot boxes. Let’s face it, Brad. I mean, they did it in slow motion replay magnified, right? She stuffed the ballot boxes. They were stuffed like nobody’s ever seen them stuffed before.

So there’s a term for it when a machine instead of a ballot box, but she stuffed the machine. She stuffed the ballot. Each ballot went three times. They were showing, here’s ballot number one. Here it is a second time, third time. Next ballot. I mean, look, Brad. We have a new tape that we’re going to release. It’s devastating. And by the way, that one event, that one event, is much more than the 11,000 votes that we’re talking about. That one event was a disaster, but it was something that it can’t be disputed. And again, we have a version that you haven’t seen, but it’s magnified. It’s magnified and you can see everything, and for some reason they put it in three times, each ballot, and I don’t know why. I don’t know why three times. Why not five times, right? But, yeah, go ahead.

Brad Raffensperger: You’re talking about the State Farm video, and I think it’s extremely unfortunate that Rudy Giuliani or his people – they sliced and diced that video and took it out of context. So the next day, we brought in WSB-TV and we let them see the full run of tape, and what you’ll see, the events that transpired are nowhere near what was projected by-

President Trump: But where were the poll watchers, Brad? There were no poll watchers there. There were no Democrats or Republicans. There was no security there. It was late in the evening or early in the morning, and there was nobody else in the room. Where were the poll watchers? And why did they say a water main broke, which they did and which is reported in the newspapers. They said they left, they ran out because of a water main break, and there was no water main. There was nothing. There was no break. There was no water main break. But if you take out everything, where were the Republican poll watchers? Even where were the Democrat poll watchers, because there were none. And then you say, “Well, they left their station.”

You know, if you look at the tape, and this was reviewed by professional police and detectives and other people. When they left in a rush, everybody left in a rush because of the water main, but everybody left in a rush. These people left their station. When they came back, they didn’t go to their station. They went to the apron wrapped around the table, under which were thousands and thousands of ballots in a box that was not an official or a sealed box, and then they took those and they went back to a different station. So if they would’ve come back, they would have walked to their station and they would have continued to work, but they couldn’t do even that, because that’s illegal, because they had no Republican poll watchers.

And remember, her reputation is devastating. She’s known all over the internet, Brad. She’s known all over it. I’m telling you, “Where’s (beep)?” was one of the hot items on the (beep). They knew her. Where’s (beep)? So, Brad, you know, there can be no justification for that. You know, I give everybody the benefit of the doubt, but that was – and, Brad, why did they put the votes in three times? They put them in three times.

Brad Raffensperger: Mr. President, they did not put that. We did an audit of that, and we’ve proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times.

President Trump: Well, where was everybody else at that late time in the morning? Where was everybody? Where were the Republicans? Where were the security guards? Where were the people that were there just a little while before, when everyone ran out of the room? How come we had no security there? Why did they run to the bottom of the table? Why did they run there and just open the skirt and rip out the votes? I mean, Brad. And they were sitting there, I think for five hours or something like that, the votes, but they just all happened to run back and go. You know, Brad?

Brad Raffensperger: Yeah. Mr. President, we’ll send you the link from WSP that-

President Trump: I don’t care about a link. I don’t need it. Brad, I have a much better link.

Cleta Mitchell: Mr. Secretary, I will tell you. I’ve seen the tape. The full tape. So has Alex. We’ve watched it, and what we saw, and what we’ve confirmed in the timing, is that they made everybody leave. We have sworn affidavits saying that. And then they began to process ballots. And our estimate is that there were roughly 18,000 ballots. We don’t know that. If you know that, we’d like to know.

President Trump: It was 18,000 ballots, but they used each one three times.

Cleta Mitchell: Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know-

President Trump: Well, I do, because we had our magnified out.

Cleta Mitchell: I’ve watched the entire tape.

President Trump: But nobody can make a case for that Brad. Nobody. I mean, you’d have to be a child to think anything other than that. Just a child. I mean, you have your Never Trump attorney in there.

Cleta Mitchell: How many ballots? How many ballots, Mr. Secretary, are you saying that were processed then?

Brad Raffensperger: We had GBI thoroughly investigate that.

Ryan Germany: This is Ryan Germany. We had our law enforcement officers talk to everyone who was there after that event came to light. GBI was with them, as well as FBI agents.

President Trump: Well, there’s no way. Then they’re incompetent. They’re either dishonest or incompetent, okay?

Cleta Mitchell: Well, what did they find?

President Trump: There’s only two answers, dishonesty or incompetence. There’s just no way. Look, there’s no way. And on the other thing, I said too, there’s no way. I mean, there’s no way that these things could have been. You have all these different people that voted, but they don’t live in Georgia anymore. What was that number, Cleta? It was a pretty good number too.

Cleta Mitchell: Well, the number who have registered out-of-state after they moved from Georgia. So they had a date when they moved from Georgia, they registered to vote out-of-state, and then it’s like 4,500. I don’t have that number right in front of me.

President Trump: And then they came back in and they voted.

Cleta Mitchell: And voted, yeah.

President Trump: That was a large number, though. It was in the 20s. The point is-

Ryan Germany: We’ve been going through each of those as well, and those numbers that we got, that Ms. Mitchell was just saying, they’re not accurate. Everyone we’ve been through are people that lived in Georgia, moved to a different state, but then moved back to Georgia legitimately. And in many cases.

President Trump: How many people do that? They moved out and then they said, “Ah, to hell with it. I’ll move back in.” It doesn’t sound very normal. You mean they moved out, and what? They missed it so much that they wanted to move back in? It’s crazy.

Ryan Germany: Well, this is they moved back in years ago. This was not like something just before the election. So there’s something about that data that’s just not accurate.

President Trump: Well, I don’t know. All I know is that it is certified, and they moved out of Georgia, and they voted. It didn’t say they moved back in, Cleta, did it?

Cleta Mitchell: No, but I mean, we’re looking at the voter registration. Again, if you have additional records, we’ve been asking for that, but you haven’t shared any of that with us. You just keep saying you investigated the allegations.

President Trump: Cleta, a lot of it you don’t need to be shared. I mean, to be honest, they should share it. They should share it because you want to get to an honest election. I won this election by hundreds of thousands of votes. There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes. I’m just going by small numbers. When you add them up, they’re many times the 11,000. But I won that state by hundreds of thousands of votes. Now, do you think it’s possible that they shredded ballots in Fulton County, because that’s what the rumor is. And also, that Dominion took out machines, that Dominion is really moving fast to get rid of their machinery. Do you know anything about that? Because that’s illegal.

Ryan Germany: This is Ryan Germany. No, Dominion has not moved any machinery out of Fulton County.

President Trump: But have they moved the inner parts of the machines and replaced them with other parts?

Ryan Germany: No.

President Trump: Are you sure, Ryan?

Ryan Germany: I’m sure. I’m sure, Mr. President.

President Trump: What about the ballots, the shredding of the ballots? Have they been shredding ballots?

Ryan Germany: No. The only investigation that we have into that, they have not been shredding any ballots. There was an issue in Cobb County where they were doing normal office shredding, getting rid of old stuff, and we investigated that. But this is stuff from past elections.

President Trump: I don’t know about that. It doesn’t pass the smell test, though, because we hear they’re shredding thousands and thousands of ballots and now what they’re saying, “Oh, we’re just cleaning up the office.” Yeah, I don’t think that’s likely.

Brad Raffensperger: Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, people can say anything.

President Trump: No, this isn’t social media. This is Trump media. It’s not social media. It’s really not. It’s not social media. I don’t care about social media. I couldn’t care less. Social media is Big Tech. Big Tech is on your side. I don’t even know why you have a side, because you should want to have an accurate election. And you’re a Republican.

Brad Raffensperger: We believe that we do have an accurate election.

President Trump: No. No, you don’t. No, no you don’t. You don’t have. Not even close. You’re off by hundreds of thousands of votes, and just on the small numbers. You’re off on these numbers, and these numbers can’t be just. Well, why won’t. Okay, so you sent us into Cobb County for signature verification, right? You send us into Cobb County for a signature verification. You send us into Cobb County, which we didn’t want to go into. And you said it would be open to the public, and we could have our, so we had our experts there. They weren’t allowed into the room.

But we didn’t want Cobb County. We wanted Fulton County, and you wouldn’t give it to us. Now, why aren’t we doing signature, and why can’t it be open to the public? And why can’t we have professionals do it instead of rank amateurs that will never find anything and don’t want to find anything? They don’t want to find, you know they don’t want to find anything. Someday you’ll tell me the reason why, because I don’t understand your reasoning, but someday you’ll tell me the reason why, but why don’t you want-

Brad Raffensperger: Mr. President, we chose Cobb County-

President Trump: Why don’t you want to find, what?

Brad Raffensperger: Sorry, go ahead.

President Trump: Okay. So why did you do Cobb County? We requested Fulton County, not Cobb County.

Cleta Mitchell: Well, Mr. President-

Brad Raffensperger: We chose Cobb County-

President Trump: Yeah, go ahead, please. Go ahead.

Brad Raffensperger: We chose Cobb County because that was the only county where there’s been any evidence submitted that a signature verification was not properly done.

President Trump: I told you, but we’re not saying that

Cleta Mitchell: Yeah, you did say that. You did say that.

President Trump: We’re the aggrieved party. Fulton County, look Stacey [Abrams], in my opinion, Stacey is as dishonest as they come. She has outplayed you at every heart, at everything. She got you to sign a totally unconstitutional agreement, which is a disastrous agreement. You can’t check signatures. You can’t do it. I can’t imagine you’re allowed to do harvesting, I guess in that agreement. That agreement is a disaster for this country. But she got you somehow to sign that thing. And she’s outsmarted you at every step. And I hate to imagine what’s going to happen on Monday or Tuesday, but it’s very scary to people. Where the ballots flow in out of nowhere. It’s very scary to people. That consent decree is a disaster. It’s a disaster. A very good lawyer who examined it said they’ve never seen anything like it.

Brad Raffensperger: Ballot harvesting is still illegal in the state of Georgia, and that settlement agreement did not change that.

President Trump: Well, it’s not a settlement agreement. It’s a consent decree. It even says consent decree on it, doesn’t it? It uses the term consent decree. It doesn’t say settlement agreement. It’s a consent decree. It’s a disaster.

Brad Raffensperger: It’s a settlement agreement.

President Trump: What’s written on top of it?

Brad Raffensperger: Ryan?

Ryan Germany: I don’t have it in front of me, but it was not entered by the court. It’s not a court order.

President Trump: No, but Ryan it’s called a consent decree, is that right? On the paper, is that right?

Ryan Germany: I don’t believe so. But I don’t have it in front of me.

President Trump: Okay. Whatever. It’s a disaster. Look. Here’s the problem. We can go through signature verification, and we’ll find hundreds of thousands of signatures, if you let us do it. And the only way you can do it as you know is to go to the past, but you didn’t do that in Cobb County. You just looked at one page compared to another. The only way you can do a signature verification is go from the one that signed it on November whatever, recently, and compare it to two years ago, four years ago, six years ago, or even one. And you’ll find that you have many different signatures. But in Fulton where they dumped the ballots, you will find that you have many that aren’t even signed, and you have many that are forgeries, okay? You know that, you know that, you have no doubt about that. And you will find, you will be at 11,779 within minutes, because Fulton County is totally corrupt. And so is she, totally corrupt. And they’re going around, playing you and laughing at you behind your back, Brad, whether you know it or not, they’re laughing at you.

And you’ve taken a state that’s a Republican state and you’ve made it almost impossible for a Republican to win because of cheating, because they cheated like nobody’s ever cheated before. And I don’t care how long it takes me, we’re going to have other states coming forward pretty good. But we have, some incredible talents, said they’ve never seen anything. Now the problem is they need more time for the big numbers, but there are very substantial numbers.

And I think you’re going to find that they, by the way, a little information, I think you’re going to find that they are shredding ballots, because they have to get rid of the ballots, because the ballots are unsigned. The ballots are corrupt. And they’re brand new and they don’t have seals. There’s a whole thing with the ballots, but the ballots are corrupt. And you’re going to find that they are, which is totally illegal. It’s more illegal for you than it is for them, because you know what they did, and you’re not reporting it. You know, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer, that’s a big risk.

But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard. And they are removing machinery, and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal fines, and you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen. You know what I mean? I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look, all I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state, and flipping the state is a great testament to our country because, it’s a testament that they can admit to a mistake, or whatever you want to call it if it was a mistake, I don’t know. A lot of people think it wasn’t a mistake. It was much more criminal than that, but it’s a big problem in Georgia. And it’s not a problem that’s going away. It’s not a problem that’s going away.

Ryan Germany: Mr. President, this is Ryan. We’re looking into every one of those things that you mentioned.

President Trump: Okay, good, But if you find them, you got to say it, Ryan.

Ryan Germany: And we are. We will.

President Trump: Ryan, if they’re destroying ballots-

Ryan Germany: Let me tell you what we are seeing.

President Trump: Go ahead, go ahead.

Ryan Germany: What we’re seeing is not at all what you’re describing. These are investigators from our office. These are investigators from GBI. And they’re looking, and they’re good, and that’s not what they’re seeing. And we’ll keep looking. We’ll keep looking at all these things.

President Trump: Well you better check on the ballots, because they are shredding ballots, Ryan. I’m just telling you, Ryan. They’re shredding ballots. And you should look at that very carefully, because that’s so illegal. You may not even believe it because it’s so bad, but they’re shredding ballots. Because they think we’re going to eventually get there. Because we’ll eventually get into Fulton. In my opinion it’s never too late. Little double sound there. So, that’s the story fellas. Look, we need only 11,000 votes. We have far more than that as it stands now, we’ll have more and more. And do you have provisional ballots at all, Brad, provisional ballots?

Brad Raffensperger: Provisional ballots are allowed by state law.

President Trump: Sure. But you have them? I mean, are they counted, or did you just hold them back? In other words, how many provisional ballots do you have in the state?

Brad Raffensperger: We’ll get you that number.

President Trump: Because most of them are made out to the name Trump, because these are people that were scammed when they came in, and we have thousands of people that have testified, or that want to testify. When they came in, they were proudly go into vote on November 3rd. And they were told, “I’m sorry, you’ve already been voted for, you’ve already voted.” The women, men started screaming, “No, I proudly voted until November 3rd.” They said, “I’m sorry, but you’ve already been voted for, and you have a ballot.” And these people are beside themselves. So they went out and they filled in a provisional ballot putting the name Trump on it. And what about that batch of military ballots that came in? And even though I won the military by a lot, it was 100% Biden, do you know about that?

A large group of ballots came in. I think it was to Fulton County, and they just happened to be 100% for Biden, even though Trump won the military by a lot, a tremendous amount. But these ballots were 100% for Biden. Do you know about that? A very substantial number came in all for Biden. Does anybody know about it?

Cleta Mitchell: I know about it but we were never-

President Trump: Okay Cleta, wait, I’m not asking you, Cleta, honestly. I’m asking Brad, do you know about the military ballots that we have confirmed now? Do you know about the military ballots that came in that were 100%, I mean 100% for Biden. Do you know about that?

Ryan Germany: I don’t know about that. I do know that we have, when military ballots come in, it’s not just military, it’s also military and overseas citizens. The military part of that does generally go Republican. The overseas citizen part of it generally goes very Democrat…. So you have a mix of them.

President Trump: Yeah, that’s okay. But I got like 78% in the military. These ballots were all for, they didn’t tell me overseas, it could be overseas too, but I get votes overseas too, Ryan, in all fairness. No, they came in a large batch, came in, and it was quote, 100% for Biden. And that is criminal, that’s criminal. That’s another criminal, that’s another of the many criminal events. Many criminal events here. I don’t know, look Brad, I have to find 12,000 votes. And I have them times a lot. And therefore I won the state, that’s before we go to the next step, which is in the process of right now, you know. And I watched you this morning and you said, well, there was no criminality, but I mean, all of this stuff is very dangerous stuff, when you talk about no criminality, I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that. I just don’t know why you don’t want to have the votes counted as they are. Even you, when you went and did that check. And I was surprised, because I didn’t get the check. And we found a few thousand votes that were against me.

I was actually surprised, because the way that check was done, all you’re doing is recertifying existing votes. And you were given votes, and you just counted them up. And you still found 3,000 that were bad, that was sort of surprising. Three or five, I don’t know, it was still a lot of votes, but you have to go back to check from past years with respect to signatures. And if you check with Fulton County, you’ll have hundreds of thousands, because they dumped ballots into Fulton County, and the other county next to it. So what are we going to do here folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break. We have that in spades already, or we could keep it going, but that’s not fair to the voters of Georgia, because they’re going to see what happened, they’re going to see what happened.

I mean, I’ll take on anybody you want with regard to (beep) and her lovely daughter, a very lovely young lady, I’m sure, but (beep) I will take on (beep) anybody you want. And the minimum, there were 18,000 ballots, but they used them three times. So that’s a lot of votes. And that one event, and they were all to Biden by the way. That’s the other thing we didn’t say. You know the one thing I forgot to say, which was the most important, do you know that every single ballot she did went to Biden? You know that, right? Do you know that by the way, Brad? Every single ballot that she did through the machine early, early in the morning, went to Biden. Did you know that Ryan?

Ryan Germany: That’s not accurate, Mr. President.

President Trump: Huh. What is accurate?

Ryan Germany: The numbers that we are showing are accurate.

President Trump: No, no. About early in the morning, Ryan, when the woman, when the whole gang took this stuff out from under the table, right? Do you know who those ballots, do you know who they were made out to? Do you know who they were voting for?

Ryan Germany: No, not specifically.

President Trump: Did you ever check?

Ryan Germany: We did what I described to you earlier.

President Trump: No, no, no. Did you ever check the ballots that were scanned by (beep), a known political operative balloteer? Did you ever check who those votes were for?

Ryan Germany: We’ve looked into that situation that you described.

President Trump: No, they were 100% for Biden. 100%. There wasn’t a Trump vote in the whole group. Why don’t you want to find this, Ryan? What’s wrong with you? I heard your lawyer is very difficult, actually, but I’m sure you’re a good lawyer. You have a nice last name. But I’m just curious why do you keep fighting this thing? It just doesn’t make sense. We’re way over the 17,779, right? We’re way over that number. And just if you took (beep), we’re over that number by five or six times, when you multiply it out times three. And every single ballot went to Biden. And you didn’t know that, but now you know it. So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? We won the election and it’s not fair to take it away from us like this. And it’s going to be very costly, in many ways, nd I think you have to say that you’re going to reexamine it. And you can reexamine it, but reexamine it with people that want to find answers, not people that don’t want to find answers.

For instance, I’m hearing Ryan, and he’s probably, I’m sure a great lawyer and everything, but he’s making statements about those ballots that he doesn’t know. But he’s making it with such, he did make them with surety, but now I think he’s less sure because the answer is they all went to Biden. And that alone wins us the election, by a lot.

Brad Raffensperger: Mr. President, you have people that submit information and we have our people that submit information, and then it comes before the court, and the court then has to make a determination. We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right.

President Trump: Why do you say that, though? I don’t know. I mean, sure, we can play this game with the courts, but why do you say that? First of all, they don’t even assign us a judge. They don’t even assign us a judge. But hey, Brad, why wouldn’t you want to check out [beep] and why wouldn’t you want to say, “If in fact, President Trump is right about that, then he wins the state of Georgia.” Just that one incident alone, without going through hundreds of thousands of dropped ballots? You just say, you stick by… I mean, I’ve been watching you for… You don’t care about anything. Your numbers are right. But you’re numbers aren’t right. They’re really wrong. And they’re really wrong, Brad. I know this phone call’s going nowhere other than, other than ultimately… Look, ultimately, I win.

Cleta Mitchell: Mr. Secretary, Mr. President-

President Trump: You guys are so wrong, and you’ve treated the population of Georgia so badly, between you and your governor, who was down at 21-he was down 21 points and, like a schmuck, I endorsed him and he got elected. But I will tell you, he’s a disaster. The people are so angry in Georgia, I can’t imagine he’s ever getting elected again, I’ll tell you that much right now. But why wouldn’t you want to find the right answer, Brad, instead of keep saying the numbers are right? Because those numbers are so wrong.

Cleta Mitchell: Mr. Secretary, Mr. President. I mean, one of the things that we have been… Alex can talk about this, we’ve talked about it, and I don’t know whether the information has been conveyed to your office, but I think what the president’s saying, what we’ve been trying to do is to say, “Look, the court is not acting on our petition. They haven’t even assigned a judge, but the people of Georgia and the people of America have a right to know the answers.” And you have data and records that we don’t have access to, and you keep telling us and making public statements that you’ve investigated this and, you know, nothing to see here. But we don’t know about that. All we know is what you tell us.

What I don’t understand is why wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interest to try to get to the bottom, compare the numbers … to try to be able to the truth, because we don’t have any way of confirming what you’re telling us. You tell us that you’ve had an investigation of the State Farm Arena. I don’t have any, I’ve never seen a report of investigation. I don’t know what that is. I’ve been pretty involved in this and I don’t know. And that’s just one of 25 categories. And as the president said, we haven’t even gotten into the Dominion issue. That’s not part of our case. We just didn’t feel as though we had any way to be able to develop-

President Trump: No. We do have a way, but I don’t want to get into it-

Cleta Mitchell: Exactly.

President Trump: Because we have found a way in other states, Cleta. Excuse me, but we don’t need it because we’re only down 11,000 votes, so we don’t even need it. I personally think they’re corrupt as hell, but we don’t need that because all we have to do, Cleta, is find 11,000-plus votes, so we don’t need that. I’m not looking to shake up the whole world. We won Georgia easily. We won it by hundreds of thousands of votes. But if you go by basic simple numbers, we won it easily, easily. We’re not giving a Dominion a pass, on the record.

Cleta Mitchell: Right, exactly.

President Trump: But we don’t need don’t Dominion because we have so many other votes, that we don’t need to prove it anymore than we already have.

Kurt Hilbert: Mr. President and Cleta, this is Kurt Hilbert, if I might interject here for a moment. Ryan, I would like to suggest that just four categories, that have already been mentioned by the president, that have actually of, hard numbers, of 24,149 votes that were counted illegally. That in and of itself is sufficient to change the results or place the outcome in doubt. We would like to just sit down with your office and we can do it through purposes of compromise and settlement, just like this phone call, just to deal with that limited category of votes. And if you are able to establish that our numbers are not accurate, then fine. However, we believe that they are accurate. We’ve had now three to four separate experts look at these numbers. These numbers are based upon the US-

President Trump: And certified accountants looked at them.

Kurt Hilbert: Correct. And this is just based on USDS data and your own secretary of state data. So that’s what we would entreat and ask you to, to sit down with us in a compromise and settlement proceeding, and actually go through the registered voter IDs and the registrations. And if you can convince us that that 24,149 is inaccurate, then fine. But we tend to believe that that is obviously more than 11,779. That’s sufficient to change the result entirely in and of itself. So what would you say to that, Mr. Germany?

Ryan Germany: Kurt, I’m happy to. I’ll get with our lawyers and we’ll set that up. That number is not accurate, and I think we can show you of all the ones we’ve looked at why it’s not. And so if that would be helpful, I’m happy to get with our lawyers and set that up with you guys.

President Trump: Well, let me ask you Kurt, Kurt, you think that is an accurate number. That was based on the information given to you by the secretary of state’s department, right?

Kurt Hilbert: That is correct. That information is the minimum, most conservative data, based upon the USDS data and the secretary of state’s office data. That has been made publicly available. We do not have the internal numbers from the secretary of state, yet we have asked for it six times. I’ve sent a letter over … several times requesting this information and it’s been rebuffed every single time. So it stands to reason that if the information is not forthcoming, there’s something to hide. That’s the problem that we have.

Ryan Germany: Well, that’s not the case. There are things that you guys are entitled to get and there’s things that, under law, we are not allowed to give out.

President Trump: Well, you have to. Well under the law, you’re not allowed to give faulty election results. Okay? You’re not allowed to do that and that’s what you’ve done. This is a faulty election result. And honestly, this should go very fast. You should meet tomorrow because you have a big election coming up, and because of what you’ve done to the president – the people of Georgia know that this was a scam. And because of what you’ve done to the President, a lot of people aren’t going out to vote and a lot of Republicans are going to vote negative because they hate what you did to the President. They hate it, and they’re going to vote.

You would be respected, really respected, if this thing could be straightened out before the election. You have a big election coming up on Tuesday, and therefore I think that it really is important that you meet tomorrow and work out on these numbers. Because I know, Brad, that if you think we’re right, I think you’re going to say… And I’m not looking to blame anybody, I’m just saying that under new counts, under new views of the election results, we won the election. It’s very simple, we won the election.

As the governor of major states in the surrounding states said, “There is no way you lost Georgia.” As the Georgia politicians say, “There is no way you lost Georgia.” Everyone knows I won it by hundreds of thousands of votes. But I’ll tell you, it’s going to have a big impact on Tuesday if you guys don’t get this thing straightened out fast.

Mark Meadows: Well, Mr. President, this is Mark. Let me just – it sounds like we’ve got two different sides agreeing that we can look at those areas, and I assume that we can do that within the next 24 to 48 hours, to go ahead and get that reconciled so that we can look at the two claims and making sure that we get the access to the secretary of state’s data, to either validate or invalidate the claims that have been made. Is that correct?

Ryan Germany: No, that’s not what I said. I’m happy to sit down, to have our lawyers sit down with Kurt and the lawyers on that side and explain to him, “Hey, here’s, based on what we’ve looked at so far, here’s how we know this is wrong. This is wrong. This is wrong. This is wrong. This is wrong.” And we-

Mark Meadows: So what’s your saying, Ryan… Hold on. Let me make sure. So, what you’re saying is you really don’t want to give access to the data. You just want to make another case on why the lawsuit is wrong?

Ryan Germany: I don’t think we can give access to data that’s protected by law. But we can sit down with them and say, “Hey, we’re looking to…”

President Trump: But you’re allowed to have a phony election? You’re allowed to have a phony election, right?

Ryan Germany: No, sir.

President Trump: When are you going to do the signature counts? When are you going to do signature verification on Fulton County? Which you said you were going to do, and now all of a sudden you’re not doing it. When are you doing that?

Kurt Hilbert: Mr. President, to get to this issue of issue of the personal information and privacy issue, is it possible that the secretary of state could deputize the lawyers for the president, so that we could access that information, that private information, without you having any kind of violation?

President Trump: Well, I don’t want to know who it is. You guys can do it very confidentially. You can sign a confidentiality agreement. That’s okay. I don’t need to know names. But we got the information, on this stuff that we’re talking about, we got all that information from the secretary of state.

Mark Meadows: Yeah, so let me recommend, Ryan, if you and Kurt we’ll get together when we get off of this phone call, if you could get together and work out a plan to address some of what we’ve got with your attorneys, where we can actually look at the data. For example, Mr. Secretary, I can tell you, you say there was only two dead people that would vote. I can promise you there are more than that. And that may be what your investigation shows, but I can promise you there were more than that. But at the same time, I think it’s important that we go ahead and move expeditiously to try to do this and resolve it as quickly as we possibly can.

Mark Meadows: And if that’s the good next step, hopefully we can finish this phone call and go ahead and agree that the two of you will to get together immediately.

President Trump: Well, why don’t my lawyers show you where you got the information. It will show the secretary of state and you don’t even have to look at any names. We don’t want names. We don’t care. But we got that information from you, and Stacey Abrams is laughing about. She’s going around saying, “These guys are dumber than a rock.” What she’s done to this party is unbelievable, I tell you. And I only ran against her once and that was with a guy named Brian Kemp, and I beat her. And if I didn’t run, Brian wouldn’t of had even a shot, either in the general or in the primary. He was dead, dead as a door nail. He never thought he had a shot at either one of them. What a schmuck I was. But that’s the way it is, that’s the way it is.

For the attorneys on my side, I’d like you to perhaps meet with Ryan, ideally tomorrow, because I think we should come to a resolution of this before the election, otherwise you’re going to have people just not voting. They don’t want to vote. They hate the state, they hate the governor, and they hate the secretary of state. I will tell you that right now. And he only people that like you are people that will never vote for you. You know that Brad, right? They like you. They like you. They can’t believe what they found. They want more people like you.

So look, can you get together tomorrow? And Brad, we just want the truth. It’s simple. Everyone’s going to look very good if the truth comes out. It’s okay, it take a little while, but let the truth come out. The real truth is I won by 400,000 votes, at least. That’s the real truth. But we don’t need 400,000 votes. We need a less than 2,000 votes. And are you guys able to meet tomorrow, Ryan?

Ryan Germany: I’ll get with Chris, the lawyer who’s representing us in the case and see when he can get together with Kurt.

Mark Meadows: All right.

Brad Raffensperger: Ryan will be in touch with the other attorney on this call, Mr. Meadows. Thank you, President Trump, for your time.

President Trump: Okay. Thank you, Brad. Thank you, Ryan. Thank you. Thank you, everybody.

Mark Meadows: Thank you.

Cleta Mitchell: Thank you.

President Trump: Thank you very much. Bye.

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Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows ultimately convinced the President a mask mandate was a bad idea

trump mark meadows paul ryan susie neilson mask mandate
President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

  • Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief of staff, reportedly convinced Trump not to introduce a nationwide mask mandate, The New York Times reported Thursday.
  • According to the Times, Meadows said such a mandate would alienate Trump’s strongest supporters: “The base will revolt,” he said. 
  • Meadows’ comments convinced Trump to forgo a mask mandate despite polling data showing a majority of Republicans were in favor of one. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, was ultimately the one who convinced the president to forgo a nationwide mask mandate to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

According to the report, President Trump’s main pollster, Tony Fabrizio, came to the Oval Office in the middle of the summer for a meeting with Trump and his advisors. Fabrizio reported some surprising news: A majority of voters – including likely Trump supporters – supported mandatory mask-wearing in public. 

Fabrizio’s poll had found that, in July, nearly 70% of voters in states being targeted by Trump’s campaign were in favor of a mask mandate, including more than half of Republicans. The polling data supported an argument made by senior advisors Jared Kushner and Hope Hicks: Trump could portray mask-wearing as Americans’ key to regaining their freedom to attend group gatherings and indoor events. 

But Meadows disagreed. During the same meeting, he argued the politics of such a move would damage the President’s reputation with his most ardent supporters. 

“The base will revolt,” Meadows said, according to The Times.

Several of Trump’s other advisors shared this viewpoint, including White House senior advisor Stephen Miller. Meadows added that he wasn’t sure such a move would be legal, either. 

For Trump, Meadows’ words ended up outweighing the wishes of Kushner and Hicks, and of Fabrizio’s polling data. 

“I’m not doing a mask mandate,” he reportedly said. 

After that, Trump was rarely seen in public wearing a mask, except for after he contracted COVID-19 himself in early October.

Trump lashed out at Jared Kushner for overseeing what he saw as too much testing

Jared Kushner and Trump
Advisor Jared Kushner (R) looks on as President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office.

In addition to Meadows’ involvement in discouraging a mask mandate, the New York Times report also detailed how Trump lashed out at Kushner for what he saw as too much testing for COVID-19.

Kushner helped oversee nationwide testing efforts throughout the year.

According to The Times, during another Oval Office meeting of top aides on August 19, Trump grew angry with increases in COVID-19 testing in the US, which he blamed for higher case numbers.

“You’re killing me! This whole thing is! We’ve got all the damn cases,” Trump reportedly yelled at Kushner.

“I want to do what Mexico does,” Trump continued. “They don’t give you a test till you get to the emergency room and you’re vomiting.”

Trump also criticized Kushner about testing during debate preparation, according to the report.

“I’m going to lose,” Trump said, according to The Times. “And it’s going to be your fault, because of the testing.”

Azmi Haroun contributed reporting.

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