PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Dec. 2 that it was President Donald Trump on the phone when he silenced a call from the White House while in the middle of signing papers certifying election results showing Trump narrowly lost the state.
Ducey said he returned the call after the event but repeatedly declined to talk about his discussion with the president, though he did say Trump never asked him not to sign the certification of Arizona’s election.
“The President has got an inquisitive mind,” Ducey said. “And when he calls he’s always got a lot of questions, and I give him honest answers, direct feedback and my opinion when it’s necessary. And that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
Ducey said months ago that he’d changed his ring tone to “Hail to the Chief” so that he wouldn’t miss calls from the president. A microphone picked up several notes of the distinctive presidential anthem as Ducey pulled his phone from the pocket of his suit, quickly silenced it and set it on the table before he resumed signing papers during the election certification on Monday.
Video of the episode was widely shared on social media.
Trump has claimed without evidence that Arizona’s election was marred by fraud. He blasted Ducey on Twitter, agreeing with a tweet saying Ducey “has betrayed the people of Arizona” and asking why he’d “rush to put a Democrat in office” while his campaign was alleging fraud.
“What is going on with @dougducey? Republicans will long remember!”
On Wednesday, he said Trump’s tweets came several hours after they spoke. He said anyone who doubts the result of Arizona’s election should bring their evidence to court during a five-day window for election challenges.
Ducey defends Arizona's election on Twitter
Not long after the certification on Nov. 30, President Donald Trump took jabs at Ducey, who is a long-time supporter of the president and has welcomed him to the Grand Canyon state several times.
A Twitter user said Ducey "betrayed" the people of Arizona and Trump quote tweeted it saying, "TRUE!"
He went on to speculate as to why Ducey is "rushing to put a Democrat in office." It's not clear if he was referring to President-elect Joe Biden or Democratic Senator-elect Mark Kelly — or both.
Defending Arizona's voting security, Ducey wrote a series of tweets, saying in part, "We have some of the strongest election laws in the country, laws that prioritize accountability and clearly lay out procedures for conducting, canvassing, and even contesting the results of an election."
He says the problem that may exist in other states when it comes to how ballot signatures are counted is not an issue in Arizona as every signature is counted by hand, not a computer.
Referring to Nov. 30's certification, he says by law, the governor, Secretary of State and the Attorney General must be present to certify the results.
The certification can only be delayed if counties within Arizona declined to certify their results. All 15 counties in the state have certified their Nov. 3 results.
"The canvass of the election triggers a 5-day window for any elector to bring a credible challenge to the election results in court. If you want to contest the results, now is the time. Bring your challenges," Ducey said.
President Donald Trump's legal team has filed lawsuits in Arizona but there has been no evidence of a "stolen election" in the state.
Ducey concluded this tweet thread, saying, "That’s the law. I’ve sworn an oath to uphold it, and I take my responsibility seriously."
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Ducey did his job on Monday, helping to certify the election in Arizona. "Nobody deserves to be attacked for fulfilling their oath of office," her tweet read.
On Saturday, Dec. 5, Trump tweeted again at Ducey saying he and the Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, have fought harder "against us" than the "radical left dems."
"They fight harder against us than do the Radical Left Dems. If they were with us, we would have already won both Arizona and Georgia," the first part of Trump's tweet thread read.
The second tweet ended by saying "Republicans will NEVER forget this."
Former Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake responded to Trump's tweets saying Arizona "chose well" when it turned blue for Joe Biden.