Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s foreign minister, a Republican who voted for President Donald Trump, said criticism and threats against him and his family after the election were “unpatriotic” and “discouraging.
Trump called Raffensperger an “enemy of the people” last week because he legally validated his state’s votes in the election for President-elect Joe Biden, who carried the state with some 12,000 votes. The president and lawyers who support him called Georgia’s election results “falsified”, while at least some Republican voters in the state have proposed in protest to boycott the runoff elections for the Senate on January 5. Raffensperger and other republican leaders in Georgia faced considerable criticism, calls for resignation and even death threats.
In an interview with CNN broadcast on Thursday morning, Raffensperger said that his wife Tricia was the first in his family to receive threats.
“Tricia received the first. For some reason, they had it in for her. And then I think the first thing they did was ‘tell Brad to resign’, and you know, something like that,” said the GOP official. “But then, you know, they just got really bloated. And I think that’s what made them so discouraging, and the language they use, and the threats they use.
“That’s just really unpatriotic,” said the Republican official.
Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger says that his faith and the tragedies of the past helped him overcome President Trump’s threats and attacks after he resisted the president’s false claims about election fraud. https://t.co/MttahfdpeU pic.twitter.com/dTn0TBvsP3
– New Day (@NewDay) December 3, 2020
Raffensperger explained that his trust in God and his faith helps him through difficult times and noted that the support and approval of his family is the most important thing when he is exposed to the attacks. “They are proud of where I stand and they simply understand that I am in a difficult situation right now,” he said. “But this is really important – that they see my integrity and are grateful for it.
Washington Newsday asked the Trump campaign for a comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
In a November 25 article for USA Today, Raffensperger, who was supported by Trump in 2018, explained that he and his family not only voted for the president in November’s election, but also donated to his campaign.
“By all accounts, Georgia had an extremely successful and smooth election. We finally broke the election lines and put Fulton County’s now infamous reputation for disastrous elections behind us. This should be something to celebrate for the Georgians, regardless of whether their favorite presidential candidate won or lost,” Raffensperger wrote
“For those who wonder, my lost-my family voted for him [Trump], donated to him, and is now thrown under the bus by him,” he added.
Although Biden was predicted to win the presidential election almost a month ago, Trump has refused to back down. The president and his team of lawyers have made unfounded conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud in Georgia and other theaters of war. Trump and the Republicans have filed dozens of challenges to the election results in several states, but the judges – including a Trump-appointed representative in Pennsylvania – have consistently rejected them, stating that they have not presented any evidence to support their often bizarre claims. Meanwhile, Trump continues to insist that he was the victim of a massive conspiracy, even though some of his close allies and friends have strongly criticized his legal tactics.
“There are those who exploit the emotions of many Trump supporters with fantastic allegations, half-truths and misinformation, and frankly, they apparently mislead the president as well,” Raffensperger said during a press conference on Monday.