Donald Trump has been recorded pleading with Georgia’s election chief to help him “find enough votes” to overturn the result in the state.
Audio of the hour-long phone call on Saturday was obtained by The Washington Post and NBC News just weeks before the US president is set to leave office.
Mr Trump can be heard launching into a barrage of discredited conspiracy theories in the conversation with Georgia’s secretary of state Brad Raffensperger.
The president even suggested Mr Raffensperger could be held criminally liable if he refused to find thousands of ballots had been illegally destroyed in Fulton County.
There is no evidence to support Mr Trump’s claims of “shredded ballots” in the county.
The president had earlier told his fellow Republican there was “no way” he lost Georgia and his team “won by hundreds of thousands of votes”.
Mr Raffensperger and his general counsel Ryan Germany pushed back on the president’s claims and told them Joe Biden’s victory of more than 12,700 votes was accurate.
Mr Trump later told the Georgia secretary of state: “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
Georgia’s certified results show Mr Biden won the state’s November 3 election by 11,779 votes.
The US president had said in the recording: “The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry.
“And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Mr Raffensperger responded: “Well, Mr President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”
Mr Trump claimed at one point during the call that votes were scanned three times in the state.
Mr Raffensperger replied: “We did an audit of that and we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times.”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and attorney Cleta Mitchell, both allies of Mr Trump, were present on the call.
Mr Biden’s senior adviser Bob Bauer said after the recording emerged: “We now have irrefutable proof of a president pressuring and threatening an official of his own party to get him to rescind a state’s lawful, certified vote count and fabricate another in its place.
“It captures the whole, disgraceful story about Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy.”
Mr Trump referenced the phone call in a tweet on Sunday as he wrote: “I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!”
Mr Raffensperger replied: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.”
The president’s efforts to overturn the US election result have fallen short since his defeat in November.
Mr Trump and his allies have made repeated unfounded accusations of voter fraud and filed a flurry of unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the results in various states.
Mr Biden will be sworn in as the 46th US president on 20 January.