Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Wednesday chastised President Donald Trump for refusing requests from Georgia election officials to condemn the threats of violence stemming from his “continuing claims of winning states where he obviously lost.”
“This is exactly the kind of language that is at the base of growing threat environment for election workers who are simply doing their jobs,” Raffensperger said, referring to a tweet Tuesday night in which Trump fanned the flame on false claims of voter fraud that have imperiled the lives of election workers in the Peach State.
The comments came during a news conference in which Raffensperger announced that a second recount of votes underway in the state by request of Trump has shown “no substantial changes” and he expects to re-certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner.
“We will continue to do our jobs, follow the law and follow the process,” Raffensperger added, defending the service of election workers who have received the brunt of Trump’s ire amid his election loss last month.
NEW: Georgia elections chief says Pres. Trump's tweet on the state last night "is exactly the kind of language that is at the base of growing threat environment for election workers who are simply doing their jobs."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 2, 2020
The comments come a day after a top Georgia elections official called on the President to condemn the death threats that have emerged from his efforts to advance false claims of voter fraud. Those efforts are “inspiring acts of violence” that endanger the lives and wellbeing of officials who have served to secure the election in the state, Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting systems implementation manager, said.
Those threatened have included, Raffensperger and his family as well as the state’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, who Trump previously endorsed.
“It’s about the time that more people are out there speaking the truth,” Raffensperger said.
The GOP official cited findings by Attorney General Bill Barr who denied Trump’s claims of voter fraud in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday when he said that the Justice Department had “not seen fraud” that would change the outcome of last month’s presidential election.
Sens. David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) have refused to apologize for playing into Trump’s baseless election conspiracies that have stoked threats of violence.
Raffensperger previously suggested that Republicans who failed to disavow death threats that had prompted him to accept a state security detail for his family were “really complicit.”
The Georgia official urged voters to “look ahead” amid the state’s upcoming Senate runoff elections in January and to continue to advocate for their values “but do so peacefully.”
“We are a nation of laws and not of men,” Raffensperger said on Wednesday imploring voters to be vigilant in upholding the nation’s democratic foundations.