The claim, published by the Washington Post on Sunday, is supported by excerpts of a recording of an hour-long phone call the previous day.
The move is apparently the latest in Trump’s two-month effort to claim his loss to president-elect Joe Biden in the November 3 election was the result of widespread voter fraud.
The conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, comes as some of Trump’s allies in Congress plan to object to the formal certification on Wednesday of Biden’s victory.
The former vice president won by a margin of 306-232 in the state-by-state Electoral College and by more than 7 million votes overall.
The Washington Post said during the call Trump alternately flattered, begged and threatened Raffensperger with vague criminal consequences.
Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions throughout and told the president he was relying on debunked conspiracy theories spread on social media, according to the audio excerpts and the newspaper’s account.
“The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry,” Trump said, according to one grab published online.
“And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
“So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump said in the recording, insisting there was “no way” he lost the state.
The White House declined to comment. Raffensperger’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Biden’s transition office had no immediate comment.
The call comes days before Senator Ted Cruz is set to lead several of Trump’s allies in Congress in a long-shot bid to disrupt the formal recognition of Biden’s win.
Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia was the first by a Democratic candidate in a generation and raises hopes the Democrats could win a pair of Senate run-offs in the state on Tuesday, giving them control of Congress.
Even if Trump had won Georgia’s 16 Electoral College votes, he would still have lost the White House to Biden, who will be sworn into office on January 20.
Before the Washington Post published its report of the call, Trump said on Twitter on Sunday he had spoken by phone with Raffensperger about voter fraud in Georgia.
“He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!” Trump tweeted.
Raffensperger responded on Twitter: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.”
News of Saturday’s call drew immediate criticism from congressional Democrats including Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee.
“Trump’s contempt for democracy is laid bare. Once again. On tape,” Schiff wrote on Twitter. “Pressuring an election official to ‘find’ the votes so he can win is potentially criminal, And another flagrant abuse of power by a corrupt man who would be a despot, if we allowed him. We will not.”
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