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Trump Made Yet Another Perfect Call— This One To Arizona’s Republican Governor

Trump won Arizona in 2016, beating Hillary 1,252,401 (48.08%) to 1,161,167 (44.58%) but it was the smallest win number for any Republican who won the presidency since Arizona's founding in 1912— and an omen of what was coming 4 years down the road. In 2020, Biden flipped Maricopa County (Phoenix)— and the state. He beat Trump 1,672,143 (49.36%) to 1,661,686 (49.06%), only the second Democrat to win Arizona since Truman beat Dewey in 1948. And in 2020, it was the second closest victory for Biden over Trump after Georgia.

From inside the Trump campaign we have learned that Trump was literally unable to understand that though he won more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016— and improved his percentage of votes— he still lost. It was too abstract for him and it was easier to just start screaming “fraud.” We have also learned that— as he did in Georgia— he insisted that local Republicans “find the votes” to overturn the results. Gov. Ducey never publicly stated what Trump called him about after the election although he did tell people that Trump pressured him to “find fraud” to overturn the results. When Ducey refused, Trump began attacking him publicly.

Yesterday, Leigh Ann Caldwell, Josh Dawsey and Yvonne Winged Sanchez reported that side from pressing Ducey, Trump also kept badgering Pence to call Ducey as well— and Pence did. “Ducey,” they reported, “described the ‘pressure’ he was under after Trump’s loss to a prominent Republican donor over a meal in Arizona earlier this year, according to the donor… The account was confirmed by others aware of the call. Ducey told the donor he was surprised that special counsel Jack Smith’s team had not inquired about his phone calls with Trump and Pence as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, the donor said.”

Trump phoned the governor’s cellphone on Nov. 30, 2020, as Ducey was in the middle of signing documents certifying President Biden’s win in the state during a live-streamed video ceremony. Trump’s outreach was immediately clear to those watching. They heard “Hail to the Chief” play on the governor’s ringtone. Ducey pulled his phone from out of his suit jacket, muted the incoming call and put his phone aside. On Dec. 2, he told reporters he spoke to the president after the ceremony, but he declined to fully detail the nature of the conversation. Ducey said the president had “an inquisitive mind” but did not ask the governor to withhold his signature certifying the election results.
But four people familiar with the call said Trump spoke specifically about his shortfall of more than 10,000 votes in Arizona and then espoused a range of false claims that would show he overwhelmingly won the election in the state and encouraged Ducey to study them. At the time, Trump’s attorneys and allies spread false claims to explain his loss, including that voters who had died and noncitizens had cast ballots.
After Trump’s call to Ducey, Trump directed Pence, a former governor who had known Ducey for years, to frequently check in with the governor for any progress on uncovering claims of voting improprieties, according to two people with knowledge of the effort.
Pence was expected to report back his findings and was peppered with conspiracy theories from Trump and his team, the person said. Pence did not pressure Ducey, but told him to please call if he found anything because Trump was looking for evidence, according to those familiar with the calls.
…In each of the calls, Ducey reiterated that officials in the state had searched for alleged widespread illegal activity and followed up on every lead but had not discovered anything that would have changed the outcome of the election results, according to Ducey’s recounting to the donor.
After learning that Ducey was not being supportive of his claims, Trump grew angry and publicly attacked him.
It is unclear if Ducey and Trump had additional conversations. Publicly, the governor said the state’s election systems should be trusted, even as Trump and his allies sought to reverse his loss.
In Arizona, Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called then Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers (R) on Nov. 22, 2020. They asked the speaker to convene the legislature to investigate their unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, which included that votes had been cast en masse by undocumented immigrants and in the names of deceased people. Weeks later, on Dec. 31, 2020 the White House switchboard left a message for the chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Clint Hickman, seeking to connect him with Trump. The supervisor, a Republican, did not return the call.
Trump and his allies made similar appeals to officials in Michigan and Georgia. On Jan. 2, 2021, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and said he wanted to undo his loss there by finding additional votes. The next night, the White House switchboard left Hickman another voice mail seeking to connect him to Trump. Hickman did not call back.
Investigators with Smith’s office interviewed Raffensperger this week, and they interviewed Giuliani last week. “The appearance was entirely voluntary and conducted in a professional manner,” said Giuliani spokesman Ted Goodman.
More than half a dozen past and current officials in Arizona contacted by Trump or his allies after his defeat have either been interviewed by Smith’s team or have received grand jury subpoenas seeking records, according to four people familiar with the interviews. Those interviewed include Bowers, the former Arizona House speaker, and three current members of the governing board of Maricopa County, the largest voting jurisdiction in the state that affirmed that Biden won.
…[A]fter Ducey certified Arizona’s election results, affirming the wins of Biden and other Democrats, Trump ridiculed him on social media: “Why is he rushing to put a Democrat in office, especially when so many horrible things concerning voter fraud are being revealed at the hearing going on right now … What is going on with @dougducey?”
That same day, allies of the president gathered in Phoenix to air unproven claims of widespread fraud and claim that state lawmakers could reject the will of voters. Giuliani attended the event, along with Republican lawmakers and activists; Trump dialed in.
The president invoked Ducey repeatedly in the days that followed, according to an archive of his tweets. On Dec. 3, Trump asked if “allowing a strong check of ballots” in Arizona would “be easier on him and the great State of Arizona.” On Dec. 5, Trump wrote that Ducey and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) “fight harder against us than do the Radical Left Dems.”
A week later, Trump attacked the men again, asking “Who is a worse governor?” He labeled them “RINO Republicans” and baselessly claimed that “They allowed states that I won easily to be stolen.”
Ducey, long eyed by national Republicans as a formidable candidate for the U.S. Senate, passed on a 2024 bid after his standing with the Trump base cratered after Trump’s attacks. After leaving office in January, he was a fellow at the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics at American University, where he spoke about the policies he enacted while in office. Earlier this month, Ducey announced that he is leading a free-enterprise focused political action committee, Citizens for Free Enterprise.


3 comentarios

03 jul 2023

I would remind 4barts that NONE of the crimes you mentioned are among the ones he's currently being showcased on. The pretense of a trial in FL is on espionage and other charges related to his stealing secret docs and refusing to return them.

No charges on trying to get governors to defraud elections, overturning the election with fraudulent electors, overturning the election by making pence refuse to certify it, insurrection, inciting riot, the resultant deaths and treason.

your merrick garland seems to be the pussy doing what pussies always do... nothing about the most serious crimes... where guilt cannot even be in doubt.

too bad nobody ever votes for anyone or any party that would take its oath to…

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It is hard for me as an American who has followed the news closely over the years to grasp why TFG isn’t yet in prison. The facts bombard his guilt. His pressure on Ducey is yet another nail in his coffin. TFG is a criminal out to destroy the USA and democracy. He is a psychiatric mess who appears increasingly unhinged.

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03 jul 2023
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what, you cannot grasp that electing pussy democraps who refuse to do anything at all about anything at all for 55 years is NOT why TFG is still free after all the crimes he's committed?

what is it that y'all keep saying but never believe or understand? "elections have consequences" or some shit?

nixon commits treason in '68 and the democraps refuse to do anything at all about it. thus, every single treason since by reagan, hw, cheney and trump... and many other lesser crimes... all because democraps are pussies that don't do "merrick garland" about anything. and y'all keep trying to elect democraps.

maybe long past time for that epiphany?

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