‘Numbers come out of ceilings and come out of leather bags’: Trump assails vote integrity in Georgia using debunked claims of fraud

Image
President Donald Trump headlined a campaign rally in Valdosta, Ga., for Sens. David Perdue, left, and Kelly Loeffler, right. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • At a rally in Valdosta, Georgia, on Saturday, President Donald Trump assailed the state’s vote integrity, using debunked claims of fraud to accuse officials of allowing vote counts to be compromised.
  • “You know we won Georgia, just so you understand,” Trump said to the jubilant crowd, despite his clear statewide loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
  • Throughout the night, the president continued to echo debunked claims of voting fraud.
  • “All I can do is campaign and then I wait for the numbers,” he added. “When the numbers come out of ceilings and come out of leather bags, you start to say, ‘What’s going on?'”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

At a boisterous rally in Valdosta, Georgia, on Saturday, President Donald Trump assailed the state’s vote integrity, using debunked claims of fraud to accuse officials of allowing vote counts to be compromised, while simultaneously imploring Republicans to come out to support GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the January 2021 Senate runoffs.

The duality of the proposition made Trump’s plea even more incredulous.

Trump started out his speech claiming victory in Georgia, a false statement that belies President-elect Joe Biden’s nearly 13,000-vote win and the November 20 certification of the Democratic statewide victory.

“You know we won Georgia, just so you understand,” Trump said to the jubilant crowd.

Trump quickly shifted to his unfounded claims of coordinated voter fraud, which have been rejected by everyone from local voting officials to GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“We’re fighting very hard for this state, when you look at all of the corruption and all of the problems that have to do with this election,” Trump said.

The president then brought up a false claim about ballot-stuffed suitcases that were included in the vote tally. According to the Associated Press, “surveillance footage of ballot processing on election night in Atlanta is fuelling a false social media narrative of ‘suitcases filled with ballots’ hidden under a cloth-covered table and tallied without supervision, even as top state officials confirm election workers followed standard procedure.”

Georgia officials have said that state investigators watched the entirety of the hours-long surveillance footage and determined that it showed “normal ballot processing” and no wrongdoing or irregularities.

Trump tweeted the aforementioned video and played the footage during the Saturday night rally, showing ballot containers on wheels being used by election workers, which is not an uncommon practice. Yet, the president insisted on pushing fraud theories despite election officials insisting that there were no irregularities.

“All I can do is campaign and then I wait for the numbers,” he added. “When the numbers come out of ceilings and come out of leather bags, you start to say, ‘What’s going on?'”

Trump has been dealt a litany of election-related court losses in swing states across the country over the past month, including Georgia.

Despite the president’s last-ditch plea to GOP Gov. Brian Kemp to call a special legislative session that would appoint Trump-backed electors and his relentless attacks against voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems, he still urged voters to support Loeffler and Perdue next month.

“I want to stay on presidential,” Trump said early in his speech. “But I got to get to these two.”

Trump lauded the GOP senators for advancing his agenda, including COVID-19 relief spending earlier this year. But his sense of grievance was never too far away.

“Let them steal Georgia again, you’ll never be able to look yourself in the mirror,” Trump said to the rallygoers.