WORLD / AMERICAS
Biden, Trump descend on Georgia
President makes vague threats as state twin runoffs near
Published: Jan 04, 2021 05:38 PM
Donald Trump and Joe Biden headed to Georgia on Monday to rally their party faithful ahead of twin runoffs that will decide who controls the US Senate, one day after the release of a bombshell recording of the outgoing president that rocked Washington.

If Democratic challengers defeat the Republican incumbents in both races Tuesday, the split in the upper chamber of Congress will be 50-50, meaning incoming Vice President Kamala Harris will have the deciding vote.

The dueling rallies by the outgoing president and his successor were set to be the final exclamation mark on a two-month blitz in the southern state awash in campaign donor cash.

But instead, Sunday's release of Trump's stunning conversation with Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, only succeeded in diverting attention from the Senate races, a must-win for his party.

Trump still refuses to concede that he lost to Biden in November, despite multiple recounts and court rulings undermining his case.

The Republican billionaire has also continued to make repeated accusations of voter fraud and election rigging without providing evidence.

In the audio recording, Trump urges Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes" - one more than Biden's margin of victory - and makes vague threats that Raffensperger and his general counsel could face "a big risk" if they failed to honor his request.

Raffensperger is heard responding, "Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong."

Vice President-elect Harris slammed the call as a "bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the president of the US" during a Sunday rally for the ­Democratic Senate candidates in Savannah, Georgia. 

But Trump still has support within his party.

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who has been an ardent Trump supporter, did not answer a question about the recording during a campaign event.

And before news of the tape reached the public, many pro-Trump voters said Sunday they believed that the president had won Georgia.

Months after the presidential election, Georgia is still in full campaign mode, with buses ferrying candidates around to small-town rallies, signs everywhere and door-to-door canvassing.
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