Trump's false claims about Georgia's 2020 election long debunked
"We counted the ballots three times. He lost this state," one official said.
Former President Donald Trump, facing criminal charges in Georgia, is again going on the attack about the state's 2020 election results.
On Thursday night on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump made more unsubstantiated claims about he called the "rigged" and "stolen" election in Georgia. He was expected to keep doing so at a news conference on Monday but has since canceled the event, he said, at the advice of his lawyers. He said he would prefer to air his complaints in legal filings.
The false claims come two-and-a-half years after the election, which officials repeatedly determined was not fraudulent after an audit, multiple recounts and at least a half dozen failed legal challenges.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, the day after the indictment was handed down against Trump and 18 others, emphasized on social media the "2020 election in Georgia was not stolen.
"For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward – under oath – and prove anything in a court of law," Kemp said.
Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer for the Georgia secretary of state's office, also plainly rejected Trump's claims on "This Week" this past Sunday.
"One of the things that we've learned and public reporting on this, is he requested there were two independent audits and verifications by outside groups. And both -- each paid $600,000 -- and both of them said there was no fraud, you lost the state," Sterling told ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl.
"We've been saying this over and over again," Sterling continued. "We counted the ballots three times. He lost this state and he continues to say he didn't lose it and it's just creating a lot of tension and a lot of chaos. It's completely unnecessary."
Georgia was the only state in 2020 to conduct a statewide recount, not once but twice -- meaning the nearly 5 million votes cast were tallied a total three times.
The first recount was done manually, or by hand, as part of an audit ordered by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
"The audit confirmed the original result of the election, namely that Joe Biden won the Presidential Contest in the State of Georgia," the audit report stated.
Trump's campaign then requested another recount as the victory margin was under 0.5%. That recount, done using scanners that read and tally the votes, also confirmed Biden's victory.
Georgia's top officials certified Biden's win on two occasions, after each recount.
A signature audit was also conducted by Raffensperger in December 2020 that found no fraudulent absentee ballots in Cobb County, located in metro Atlanta, another allegation made by Trump and his allies after the election.
"The Secretary of State's office has always been focused on calling balls and strikes in elections and, in this case, three strikes against the voter fraud claims and they're out," Raffensperger said at the time. "We conducted a statewide hand recount that reaffirmed the initial tally, and a machine recount at the request of the Trump campaign that also reaffirmed the original tally. This audit disproves the only credible allegations the Trump campaign had against the strength of Georgia's signature match processes."
In addition to the recounts and audits, Trump and his allies filed at least a half dozen legal challenges to the Georgia results that either failed or were eventually withdrawn.
Kemp on Friday, during a gathering of Republican presidential candidates in Atlanta, asserted he upheld the law during the last presidential race.
"Through the whole 2020 election, there was a lot of things said, a lot of things done. At the end of the day, I followed the law and the Constitution," Kemp said.
Trump and 18 others have been charged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as part of a sweeping racketeering indictment alleging they schemed to illegally overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden in the state. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.