Arizona’s Katie Hobbs calls Trump’s call to Georgia counterpart ‘appalling’

Jan 4, 2021, 12:28 PM | Updated: 12:29 pm

PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Monday called President Donald Trump’s attempt to coerce her Georgia counterpart into changing election results “appalling” but “not surprising.”

“Appalling I don’t think begins to describe my response to that — appalling on the part of the president. … He’s asking for somebody to take illegal action, and he should be held to account for that,” she said.

“Unfortunately, it’s not surprising coming from this White House.”

Trump’s phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday was his latest attempt to press a state official to reverse the outcome his election loss.

The Republican president, who has refused to accept his loss to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, repeatedly argued that Raffensperger could change the certified results.

“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said. “Because we won the state.”

Georgia counted its votes three times before certifying Biden’s win by an 11,779 margin, Raffensperger noted. “President Trump, we’ve had several lawsuits, and we’ve had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions,” he said on the call. “We don’t agree that you have won.”

Hobbs, a Democrat, said she hadn’t yet listened to the full call or read the transcript. The Washington Post and other media outlets obtained the audio and posted it online Sunday, first in excerpts and then in its entirety.

Hobbs praised Raffensperger, a Republican, for his response to the president’s pressure.

“As a chief election official, I think that Secretary Raffensperger responded exactly how I would expect any secretary to,” she said.

“It shouldn’t matter his party. As a chief election official, you uphold the integrity of your elections, and there was nothing to question about the elections in Georgia, in Arizona or anywhere else where they’re supposedly being disputed.”

The president used Saturday’s hourlong phone conversation to tick through a list of debunked claims and conspiracy theories about the election in Georgia.

“It was pretty obvious pretty early on that we’d debunked every one of those theories early on,” Raffensperger told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday, “but President Trump continues to believe them.”

Hobbs said she hasn’t received a similar call from Trump or his surrogates.

“He might have called the governor but never called our office as he claimed to have done,” Hobbs said.

Various election officials across the country and Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have said there was no widespread fraud in the election.

Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states crucial to Biden’s victory, have also vouched for the integrity of their state elections.

Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two tossed by the Supreme Court, which has three Trump-nominated justices.

“You can’t just make up evidence and say ‘bad things happened,’ because they didn’t, we know that,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said the ongoing efforts of Trump and his supporters have damaged Americans’ faith in elections, something she wants to address.

“What I’ve said all along is that I am interested and looking forward to engaging in discussions with people about how we restore the faith in our democracy, but people of good intent, people who actually want to do that,” she said.

“And I think that folks who are focused on undermining this election results are not interested in doing that.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona’s Katie Hobbs calls Trump’s call to Georgia counterpart ‘appalling’