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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger aims to "set the record straight" on 2020 election in new book

Georgia official on Trump's 2020 claims
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger talks about his post-election call from Trump 07:40

The second part of the "Red & Blue" interview with Raffensperger will air on CBSN at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

George Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he wrote his new book "Integrity Counts" to "set the record straight" about what happened — and didn't happen — during the contentious 2020 presidential election. 

Former President Trump lost the Peach State narrowly to Joe Biden, but the former president and his allies have persisted in their unfounded claims of mass voter fraud, which Mr. Trump blamed for his loss in Georgia. He repeatedly lambasted Raffensperger, who is a Republican, for defending the fairness and integrity of the election. Georgia prosecutors have opened a criminal inquiry into the ex-president's attempts to influence the election. Raffensperger said the attorney general has a large caseload unrelated to Mr. Trump, but said his office has sent her the requested documents related to the inquiry into Mr. Trump's actions after the presidential election. 

"Well, we were sure on the facts back on January 6 when I wrote a 10-page letter to Congress, and I told them that all the allegations that had been made by the Trump campaign were not supported by the facts," Raffensperger said on CBSN's "Red & Blue" in the first part of an interview, which aired Monday. "I go through it point by point. There weren't 5,000 or 10,000 dead people that voted, there was less than five. There weren't 66,000 underage voters, there were zero. There weren't thousands of felons, there was less than 74. And so, I wrote the book to set the record straight."

Raffensperger, who is in charge of elections in Georgia, said his book is filled with footnotes so readers can see the evidence to back up his assertions about the election. 

"And as Republicans, I know many are disappointed in the results, I understand that. But the fact is that President Trump came up short," Raffensperger said. 

The secretary of state said that in his book, he's trying to give readers the context that the 2020 presidential election wasn't their "first rodeo." And he pointed out that the claims of voting irregularities came from Democrats, too. He noted that the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2018, Stacey Abrams, made sweeping claims of voter suppression and also didn't concede. 

"And really her whole narrative set the table for 2020, President Trump just ramped it up to a higher level, he did the same thing about stolen election claims, but he was on the other side of the coin, called voter fraud," Raffensperger said. "Neither one of them are supported by the facts, and it really destabilizes society when both people attack the legitimacy and the integrity of our election process."

It was falsehoods about the 2020 election that led to the deadly events of January 6, 2021, Raffensperger said. 

"It was — people had been spun up," Raffensperger said. "They were spun up on stuff that was made up. It was not supported by the facts. And it really was a tragic day because people lost their lives that day. I think it was really the straw that broke the camel's back. I think that's really when people said this is going way too far and people started pulling back and reassessing the situation, and I pray that never happens again."

Raffensperger disputed any notion that he's a politician; he sees himself as an "elected public servant." But he dismissed the idea of leaving the Republican Party, saying he's a strong fiscal conservative and the GOP needs to rebuild trust.

"I'm not going to move off my conservative principles," the secretary of state said. "But also I'm going to stand fast on the truth, I'm going to stand fast and hold onto integrity. Those are values that I think really our founders believed in. They were people of character, deep thought. And if we lean back into that but then adopt our policies for what we're facing now in the 2020s, then we'll be in good shape as Republicans. But first of all, I think we really need to face what happened last year."

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