• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Trump said he didn't go all-out to push Republicans to vote in the Georgia Senate runoffs because he was 'angry' over losing the election, book says

·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Trump Georgia rally
President Donald Trump (center) headlined a campaign rally in Valdosta, Georgia, for Sens. David Perdue (left) and Kelly Loeffler (right). Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Donald Trump said he could've done more to boost voter turnout in the 2021 Georgia Senate runoffs.

  • Trump told reporter David Drucker he didn't do more because he was angry over the election outcome.

  • Voter-data analyses show a significant drop-off in turnout among conservative voters in the runoffs.

Former President Donald Trump said he could have done more to boost voter turnout in the critical 2021 Georgia Senate runoffs for incumbent GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, but didn't because he was "angry" over losing the 2020 presidential election.

Trump discussed his role in the January 5 runoffs in an interview with the Washington Examiner reporter and author David Drucker for Drucker's new book, "In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP," which was published on Tuesday.

"They didn't want to vote, because they knew they got screwed in the presidential election," Trump told Drucker of Georgia Republicans, acknowledging that the depressed GOP turnout cost Republicans control of the Senate.

Drucker then asked Trump what he thought could have happened if Trump had instead said that, "despite some irregularities that deserved looking into, the state's voting system was reliable" and urged his supporters to vote.

"I don't know," Trump said. "I did two very successful rallies - very successful rallies. I did say a version of that, but not as strongly as you said, because I was very angry with what happened there."

Following the Republican losses in Georgia, which handed Senate control to Democrats, Trump insisted he wasn't to blame. Instead, he repeatedly pointed fingers at Georgia's GOP governor, Brian Kemp, for refusing to overturn his state's election results and at Senate leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to support $2,000 stimulus checks as part of the December COVID-19 relief bill.

Two full recounts in Georgia confirmed that Trump lost the presidential election in Georgia by about 12,000 votes, but the former president has continued to aggressively spread the lie that the election was rigged.

Trump went on to tell Drucker that his fixation on the 2020 results "could be a problem" or "could be an asset" going into the 2022 midterm elections.

But the available evidence from the Georgia runoffs, where two Democrats, Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, unseated their Republican opponents, points to the former. Analyses of verified voter file data and precinct-level results showed that low turnout among Republicans and Trump supporters was to blame for Perdue's and Loeffler's losses.

An analysis from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that over half of the 752,000 voters who voted in the presidential election but sat out the runoffs were white and disproportionately hailed from strongly Republican rural areas that backed Trump in 2020, particularly in northwest and southeast Georgia.

By contrast, the areas with the least amount of voter drop-off between the presidential and runoff elections tended to be more nonwhite and Democratic-leaning, including the rapidly blue-trending Atlanta metro area and predominantly Black regions of southwest Georgia. The 228,000 new voters who cast ballots for the first time in the runoffs were also predominately younger and nonwhite, constituencies that are disproportionately left-leaning.

Another report from Georgia Public Broadcasting found that Georgia precincts that backed Trump in 2020 saw a drop-off of 310,000 voters, compared to a 220,000-vote drop-off in precincts that backed President Joe Biden.

The Trump team's legal efforts to overturn his election loss included infighting and power struggles between White House attorneys and Rudy Giuliani. Pro-Trump lawyers such as Sidney Powell and Lin Wood also spread disinformation and conspiracy theories, and they told Republicans not to vote, which contributed to the lower turnout.

Perdue, who had asked the Trump team to spend more time campaigning in Georgia before the election that forced him into a runoff, appealed to the White House to try to stop Trump from pushing allegations of fraud, said the Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender's book, "Frankly, We Did Win This Election." But Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and White House advisor at the time, told Perdue he was out of luck.

"Once Donald put Rudy in charge, it guaranteed this was going to be a clown show," Kushner told Perdue, the book said. Kushner added, "I can't help you."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting