Georgia officials have President Trump’s bogus election fraud claims on their mind — and they’re fed up with the sitting president’s falsehoods amid his ongoing refusal to concede and fruitless legal battles contesting the legitimacy of the election process.
Hours before Trump made his appearance at a Georgia rally Saturday night in support of the state’s Republican senators running for re-election all about himself, the sitting president reportedly asked Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in a phone call to order a legislative session to overturn election results, which the governor refused to go along with.
The battleground state’s top officials have spent the past week calling out the sitting president on his falsehoods. They continued doing so on Sunday morning, and made clear that they are Republicans who voted for Trump, but cannot, in good conscience, stand by his baseless claims:
Georgia election implementation manager Gabriel Sterling
Sterling — who issued an impassioned plea last week for Trump and the state’s Republican senators to condemn violent threats that he, Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, and election officials and workers have faced — once again hit back at Trump’s bogus election fraud claims during his appearance at a Georgia rally the night before during an interview on “Meet the Press.”
After likening attempts at debunking Trump’s falsehoods to playing a game of Whac-a-Mole, Sterling mentioned “hell, I voted for him” while saying that “the situation’s getting worse” regarding the sitting president’s false statements that are “stoking anger and fear among his supporters.”
“It’s not just Republicans on this side this time. Even in polling up to 2019, up to 50 percent of Democrats think Russians flipped votes on machines. So this is going both ways,” Sterling said. “It’s undermining democracy, and we’ve got to get to a point where responsible people act responsibly.”
"This undermines democracy. We have got to get to a point where responsible people act responsibly." pic.twitter.com/Gbw7AtcPWC
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 6, 2020
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R)
Raffensperger told ABC News on Sunday that despite Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue (R-GA) calling for his ouster as the Republican senators continue egging on Trump’s unfounded election fraud claims, the Georgia secretary of state maintained that he “absolutely” supports their candidacy as a Republican who voters for Republicans.
Raffensperger stressed that while “the job of the Republican Party is to raise money and turn out the vote,” his job as secretary of state is to ensure “honest and fair elections.”
Raffensperger reiterated that he and his family have faced death threats — which he described as “unpatriotic” behavior — before going onto say that Republicans “didn’t turn out enough voters.”
Asked whether he has no doubt that Trump lost Georgia, Raffensperger lamented that it’s “sad, but true” that Trump lost, but that voters have elected President-elect Joe Biden.
“I wish he would have won,” Raffensperger said. “I’m a conservative Republican and I’m disappointed but those are the results.”
“Yeah, sad but true … I’m a conservative Republican and I’m disappointed, but those are the results,” Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger tells @GStephanopoulos when asked if there’s no doubt in his mind that President Trump lost the state of Georgia. https://t.co/EJ6DD0kF8n pic.twitter.com/firlHWDalW
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 6, 2020
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R)
Asked during an interview on CNN what his message is to Georgia voters, Duncan replied that even as someone who voted for Trump and campaigned for him, “unfortunately” the sitting president didn’t win the battleground state.
Duncan added that if he had a chance to spend five minutes with every voter in Georgia who doubts the election results, “I’d be able to win their hearts over” by “separating fact from fiction.”
After emphasizing that Biden will be sworn in on Jan. 20, despite his differences with the President-elect, Duncan insisted that he’s “proud that we’re able to look up after three recounts and watch and be able to see that this election was fair. ”
“Was it perfect? Absolutely not. I don’t know if any election was perfect in the history of this country,” Duncan said. “But certainly it’s only been nominal changes since we’ve had three recounts.”
After Trump pressured Georgia's governor to help overturn Biden's win in the state, Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan says the President "did not win the state of Georgia": "As the lieutenant governor and a Georgian, I'm proud that we can see that this election was fair" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/kxqFtRRGp2
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 6, 2020