Secretary of state official calls out President Trump, leaders for spreading rumors, endangering lives

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The secretary of state’s office blasted President Donald Trump and Republican leaders for spreading false information about elections in Georgia and said their actions have put the lives of state leaders and election workers in jeopardy.

“It has all gone too far. All of it,” elections implementation manager Gabriel Sterling said in an emotional news conference on Tuesday.

Sterling has become the face of the Secretary of State’s office during two recounts, and he held nothing back while lashing out in anger.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Election 2020]

“It has to stop. Mr. President you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you have not condemned these actions or this language. This has to stop. We need you to step up and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some,” Sterling barked in an echoing state Capitol rotunda.

Sterling said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has had caravans in front of his house, people have invaded his property and his wife is getting sexualized threats through her cell phone.

“This is elections. This is the backbone of democracy and all of you who have not said a damn word are complicit in this,” Sterling said. “It’s too much. It’s not right. They’ve lost the moral high ground to claim that it is.”

Late Tuesday, about three hours after the news conference, Senator David Perdue issued a statement that said he “condemns the violence of any kind, against anybody. Period. We won’t apologize for addressing the obvious issues the way our state conducts its elections.”

Trump 2020 Communications Director Tim Murtaugh issued the following statement on Sterling’s comments.

“The campaign is focused on ensuring that all legal votes are counted and all illegal votes are not. No one should engage in threats or violence, and if that has happened, we condemn that fully.”

Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s campaign sent the following statement to ABC News from campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson:

“Like many officials, as someone who has been the subject of threats, of course Senator Loeffler condemns violence of any kind. How ridiculous to even suggest otherwise. We also condemn inaction and lack of accountability in our election system process—and won’t apologize for calling it out. Senator Loeffler will continue fighting to ensure we have a fair, trusted, and accurate election because the future of our country is at stake.”

Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is running against Loeffler, released the following statement Tuesday:

“There is absolutely no place for violence in our democracy, and it is beyond time for Kelly Loeffler to put an end to the dangerous attacks she and President Trump are making on our elections - including members of her own party. I again ask Senator Loeffler to join me in standing up for Georgia voters, our elections and to stop putting her own political interests ahead of Georgia.”

Gwinnett technician threatened

Sterling said the latest round of threats, this time against a technician really sparked his anger.

“A twenty-something tech in Gwinnett County today has death threats and a noose put out saying he should be hung for treason because he was transferring a report on batches from an EMS to a county computer so he could read it. It has to stop,” Sterling said.

The threats started when one video posted on Twitter and YouTube claimed to show video of a Dominion Voting Systems worker manipulating election data in Gwinnett County. A follow-up post shows a noose and names the worker, accusing him of treason and says “May God have mercy on your soul.”

The worker’s name, LinkedIn profile and an apparent work badge are posted on a variety of websites.

Channel 2’s Tony Thomas confirmed the man has been working at the county election headquarters as a technician for weeks.


“They have refused to condemn this type of behavior and language continues to escalate every day,” Sterling told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne before the news conference. “There are some people out there who are losing their damn minds and somebody’s gonna get shot.”

Winne has previously reported both Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Sterling have physical security plans in place because of previous threats against them in the wake of President Trump losing Georgia in the 2020 election.

Raffensperger’s home address and cell number have been posted online and a Fed Ex delivery to Sterling’s home indicates his address is known as well.

Activists targeting Gwinnett

Election workers are circling the Gwinnett County elections office and have been for days. Channel 2′s Tony Thomas says people with video cameras are driving circles around the office, following election workers and sometimes confronting them.

One of those videos is of the threatened technician. Another was amplified by President Trump on Twitter.

Many of these election gawkers are live streaming the facility day and night.

Brian Mallory posted a video on Twitter and told his audience he followed a truck for miles from election headquarters to a county water plant, convinced the man inside the truck was moving voting machines against court order. It turned out the man he followed was a county IT worker replacing phones.

A police officer gave Mallory a stern warning.

“You don’t want to go to jail, or worse, be shot at,” the officer said in Mallory’s video.

Thomas confirmed with police there is nothing illegal about people watching and recording activity in public buildings, however police have increased their presence in the area.

One of the watchers, John McGinnis confronted Thomas and his photographer and questioned why he wasn’t “reporting the real news.”

He told Thomas they have about ten people watching all sides of the building and they have people driving around, making sure that election machines are not switched out.

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