On Sunday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger found himself at the center of the media’s latest fake-news scandal involving President Donald Trump. After a phone call between himself and the president leaked to the media, revealing that Trump is deeply concerned about fraudulent election results (who knew??), the press went into predictable overdrive, assuring the public that we’re in the 1,222nd “constitutional crisis” of the Trump presidency.
In an interview with Fox News’s Martha MacCallum on Monday, Raffensperger refused to say whether or not he was the man behind the call’s leak.
“I didn’t know it was being recorded,” he said of the call. “I just was at my home with my wife. And I had it on speakerphone. But I didn’t record anything at my house. But I was making notes. But, also, then on Sunday morning, he put out a Twitter. I thought we had a private conversation, just not — left unsaid that it was private, but I just thought it was man to man, just having a conversation, and so — with the president of the United States. But then he goes out on Twitter the next morning and says stuff that’s not true. First of all, he releases that we did have a conversation. So, I didn’t see what the issue was. Then, obviously, we did have a conversation. The whole world knows.”
“You say you didn’t realize that the phone call was recorded,” MacCullum replied. “At what point did you become aware that the phone call was recorded? And tell us about the decision to release the phone call, the audio of the phone call to the Washington Post.”
“I think it was after Sunday, when the Twitter came out. I didn’t see it, or — anyway, I became aware of it. And, anyway, so that’s — recording is out there. And now people can look at what was the entirety of the comments that were said. And then they can see what he said versus what I said,” he said, nonsensically.
“But were you consulted? And did you OK the release of the phone call? Did you say, OK, let’s go ahead and release the audio of the phone call?” MacCallum asked.
“The information is out there. And it is what it is,” he said.
“That’s not an answer to my question,” she correctly noted. “Are you going to answer my question? Were you aware of the decision and were you in favor of the decision to release the phone call, sir?”
“I think that we had to respond to the president’s Twitter. And we responded with the facts that were in the call. And that’s how it got out there,” he said.
Well, that’s not an “admission” in the standard sense of the word, but it’s about as close as it comes. Let’s put it this way: If leaking this call were a crime, we’re pretty sure a jury would convict based on this interview.