President Donald J. Trump twice sought to speak on the telephone with the Republican chief of Arizona’s most populous county final winter because the Trump marketing campaign and its allies tried unsuccessfully to reverse Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s slim victory within the state’s presidential contest, in line with the Republican official and data obtained by The Arizona Republic, a Phoenix newspaper.
However the chief, Clint Hickman, then the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, mentioned in an interview on Friday that he let the calls — made in late December and early January — go to voice mail and didn’t return them. “I instructed folks, ‘Please don’t have the president name me,’” he mentioned.
On the time, Mr. Hickman was being pressed by the state Republican Get together chairwoman and Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to analyze claims of fraud within the county’s election, which Mr. Biden had gained by about 45,000 votes.
Liz Harrington, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, mentioned in an announcement that “it’s no shock Maricopa County election officers had no need to look into important irregularities through the election,” although there isn’t a proof of widespread issues with Arizona’s election. She didn’t immediately tackle the calls reportedly made by Mr. Trump. Two former marketing campaign aides mentioned they knew nothing concerning the outreach to the Maricopa County official.
The Arizona Republic obtained the data of the telephone calls from Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani after a Freedom of Data Act request.
Mr. Hickman and the county’s 4 different supervisors licensed the election outcomes and have repeatedly known as the vote free and honest. However the Republican-controlled State Senate started its personal assessment of all 2.1 million votes forged within the county, which has been extensively criticized by state officers from each events and continues to be underway.
The Arizona Republic reported that the calls got here because the state Republican chairwoman, Kelli Ward, sought to attach Mr. Hickman and different county officers to Mr. Trump and his allies so they might talk about purported irregularities within the county’s election.
Ms. Ward first instructed Mr. Hickman on Nov. 13, the day after the Maricopa vote depend sealed Mr. Biden’s victory in Arizona, that the president would most likely name him. However the first name didn’t come till New Yr’s Eve, when Mr. Hickman mentioned the White Home operator dialed him as he was eating along with his spouse.
Mr. Hickman mentioned the switchboard operator left a voice mail message saying Mr. Trump wished to talk with him and asking him to name again. He didn’t.
4 nights later, the White Home switchboard operator known as Mr. Hickman once more, he mentioned. By then, Mr. Hickman recalled, he had learn a transcript of Mr. Trump’s name with Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state whom Mr. Trump pressured to “discover extra votes” to reverse his defeat within the state.
“I had seen what occurred in Georgia and I used to be like, ‘I would like no a part of this insanity and the one method I enter into that is I name the president again,’” Mr. Hickman mentioned.
He despatched the decision to voice mail and didn’t return it as a result of, he mentioned, the county was in litigation over the election outcomes at that time.
In November and December, Mr. Giuliani additionally known as Mr. Hickman and the three different Republicans on the Board of Supervisors, The Republic reported. That decision to Mr. Hickman additionally went to his voice mail, he mentioned, and he didn’t return it both.
Amongst these he consulted with whereas contemplating whether or not to return Mr. Trump’s calls, Mr. Hickman mentioned, was Thomas Liddy, the litigation chief of Maricopa County. Mr. Liddy is a son of G. Gordon Liddy, the important thing determine within the Watergate housebreaking.
“Historical past collides,” Mr. Hickman mentioned. “It’s a small world.”
Annie Karni contributed reporting.