PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday 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!”
Ducey responded with a series of tweets vouching for the integrity of Arizona’s election and saying he’s required by law to certify the result.
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.
“The clock is ticking. If you have a complaint or an irregularity or any proof, this is the time to bring it forth," Ducey said. “No due process will be denied.”
Ducey also clapped back at Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelly Ward, who wrote on Twitter to Ducey with an acronym meaning “shut the hell up.”
“I think what I would say is the feeling’s mutual ... and practice what you preach,” Ducey said.