Ben Shapiro says that Trump's actions on the call did not amount to a threat to the Georgia secretary of state

Shapiro says that Trump was too “self-interested” on the call

Video file

Citation From the January 4, 2020, edition of The Daily Wire's The Ben Shapiro Show

BEN SHAPIRO (HOST): OK, so what the media are saying, he is saying is that he is saying to Raffensperger, I want you to manufacture those votes out of thin air and I don't care whether there was voter fraud or voter irregularity. I want you to go under your bed and I want you to find votes for Donald Trump and then I want you to re-tally.

That's not what Trump is saying. What Trump is saying is he believes that there was widespread voter fraud and voter irregularity. Undoubtedly, there was more voter fraud and voter irregularity than the margin of victory for Joe Biden in the state. And therefore, he should be declared the winner of the state. He's not ordering Raffensperger to manufacture votes out of thin air. He's not ordering Raffensperger to magically come up with twelve thousand votes. And that's just not what he's doing.

It's bad enough what he's doing. Now, the reason it's bad enough what he's doing is because if you actually care about voter fraud and voter irregularity, you shouldn't be tying that to results. What you should say is I'm concerned about voter fraud. I'm concerned about voter irregularity. There are a bunch of outstanding allegations that have been made that you have not answered. And so I want specific answers on those, not because the margin of victory is the key issue, not because I want you to get to that 12,000 votes and flip the state, but because I care about voter fraud and voter irregularities.

And for people who seriously want to rejigger the system, it can't be a self-interested pursuit. It can't be. I care about voter fraud and voter irregularity because it hurt me. It has to be I care about voter fraud and voter irregularity generally. That is the biggest problem with Trump's phone call. The specter of a candidate in an election calling up the election official as president of the United States and telling him that he is upset that the margin is 11,000 votes and that he doesn't really care how -- about the voter fraud and voter irregularity? All he cares about is the margin. That's ugly stuff. Is that criminal stuff? No. People who are suggesting that this is criminal activity, that's silly. It's not criminal activity. 

People who are suggesting that Trump is quote unquote threatening Raffensperger - I read the entire transcript, there really is not evidence of threatening behavior by Trump. You can say there's a power inbalance in the conversation, that's certainly true. It's certainly true that when the president calls you up and says he wants you to find a thing, you feel pressure to find the thing. That does not mean that there's an actual attempt by Trump to actually punish Raffensperger in any way other than the, sort of, overtly political yelling at Raffensperger, which he's been doing for months since the election itself. 

As many people have noted, President Trump on the call floated that Brad Raffensberger, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, could face criminal charges, and later said it was “dangerous” for Raffensberger and Ryan Germany (general counsel for his office) to disagree with his assertions about criminality.