Sterling admonished the president and Georgia’s two US senators during a routine news conference at the State Capitol to provide an update on the recount of the presidential race requested by Trump, both of whom are locked in tight run-off races against Democrats and have called on GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over allegations that he mishandled the election.
On Tuesday, a top Georgia election official angrily lashed out at the rhetoric surrounding the election and the resulting threats of violence, specifically calling on President Donald Trump to rein in his supporters.
Gabriel Sterling is a Republican who oversaw the introduction of the new voting system in the state. Sterling admonished the president and Georgia’s two US senators during a routine news conference at the State Capitol to provide an update on the recount of the presidential race requested by Trump, both of whom are locked in tight run-off races against Democrats and have called on GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over allegations that he mishandled the election.
“Mr. President, these actions or this language have not been condemned by you. You have not condemned this language or these actions, senators,’ said Sterling, visibly angry. “It’s got to stop this. We need you to step up, and if you are going to take a leadership position, show some.
Trump, however, did not take the upbraiding to heart, reiterating unproven allegations of mail-in ballot fraud in a tweet late Tuesday that responded to an Atlanta TV reporter who tweeted about the denunciation of Sterling.
“The Rigged Election,” tweeted Trump. “Show the envelopes and signatures. Reveal the massive fraud of voters in Georgia. What the Secretary of State is afraid of and Brian Kemp. What we’ll find, they know!!! ”
People drove past Raffensperger’s home in caravans, came to his property, and sent sexualized threats to his wife’s cell phone, Sterling said. Raffensperger and Sterling both have police stationed outside their homes, and to determine their credibility, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said it is investigating possible threats against officials.
With his name on it there is a noose out there. That’s not correct,’ said Sterling, adding that by taking a high-profile position such as Sterling or running for office like Raffensperger, the contractor did not seek the spotlight. “This kid went to work. He only took a job.
Last week, Trump called Raffensperger an “enemy of the people,” Sterling noted, adding, “That helped open this kind of crap to the floodgates.”
The President was urged by Sterling to step up and tell his supporters not to commit violent acts. “It’s going to hurt somebody. Someone’s going to get shot here. Somebody’s going to get killed,’ said Sterling.
“In a statement Tuesday night, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said, “No one should engage in threats or violence, and if that has occurred, we fully condemn that.
According to news outlets, the campaigns for Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler both issued statements Tuesday night condemning violence but also criticising election officials.
Like many officials, as someone who has been the subject of threats, Senator Loeffler, of course, condemns any kind of violence. How ridiculous to even suggest otherwise,” said Stephen Lawson, spokesman for the Loeffler campaign. “In our electoral system, we also condemn inaction and lack of accountability and will not apologise for calling it out.”