Raffensperger: ‘Stream of misinformation’ led to anger

Dan Abrams Live

(NewsNation) — In his first public interview since testifying before the Jan. 6 investigative committee, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger painted his testimony as not politically or personally motivated, but rather as what he saw as a chance to lay out facts for the public.

“I shared the simple fact of what happened in Georgia in 2020 … 28,000 Georgians skipped the presidential race, they didn’t vote for anyone and yet they voted down ballot,” Raffensperger said. “Our Republican congressman got 33,000 more votes collectively than President Trump did and that’s why President Trump came up short.”

Raffensperger, a Republican who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, spoke with NewsNation on “Dan Abrams Live” in an exclusive interview Wednesday. He spoke of Trump’s false bid to overturn the election, threats that have been made against his family and his appearance before the Jan. 6 investigative committee.

Long a central figure in Trump’s scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election, Raffensperger, a quiet, mild tempered former structural engineer, was one of the first public officials to resist Trump’s bid to circumvent the results.

Trump asked Raffensperger to “find” him enough votes in Georgia — roughly 11,780 at the time — to give him an edge in the state over Biden, telling Raffensperger and other state officials in a phone call, “Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.”

Raffensperger took this request by Trump as a “threat,” but still, he resisted the president’s fierce pressure campaign, making himself the target of vicious outcry from Trump allies and supporters.

During his testimony, Raffensperger detailed the threats of physical and sexual violence made against he and his wife from supporters of Trump, and also revealed someone angry at him had broken into his daughter-in-law’s house.

He appears to harbor no anger toward those people, however, saying they are misunderstood individuals who have been lied to about the election for months.

“I believe that most people are good and people have been fed a constant stream of misinformation. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them, it’s just they don’t have the knowledge,” Raffensperger said. “That’s why I try to give them information.”

Raffensperger, and his deputy Gabe Sterling, testified before the Jan. 6 investigative committee, in which Raffensperger said he went through “every single allegation” and down every “rabbit hole” that Trump and his allies pushed on officials in Georgia. They found no amount of fraud that would spin the election in Trump’s favor.

“Every allegation we checked it out, there wasn’t 10,000 dead people (voting), there was only four, there weren’t thousands of felons, there was less than 74, things like that,” Raffensperger said Wednesday. “Every single allegation, we checked out so when we certified the race, we could say we verified and checked out every allegation.”

Raffensperger declined to say on “Dan Abrams Live” how serious Americans should be taking the hearings, saying that was a decision each person should decide for themselves. But he was critical of Fox News being the only network not to air the entirety of the hearings.

“I think it’s helpful for all Americans to hear the information and they can make their own decisions,” Raffensperger said. “That would be healing, actually — healing for our own Republican party.”

Trump has publicly lambasted both Raffensperger and Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, for their unwillingness to play along with his false claim he won the election.

Still, the ever calm and collected Raffensperger declined to take shots of his own at Trump, and rather said all Americans need to return to a place of respectful debate.

“We need to get back to civil discourse so whatever we say in the public space is respectful,” Raffensperger said. “Even though we don’t agree with people’s policies, let’s have honest discussions about that and do it respectfully.”

Trump endorsed the primary opponents for both candidates, backing U.S. Rep. Jody Hice for secretary of state and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in the gubernatorial race. Hice was fully on board with Trump’s false election claims and Perdue was critical of Kemp for not doing more to aid Trump.

Both Raffensperger and Kemp won their elections.

Fulton Country District Attorney Fani Willis has opened an investigation, with the help of a grand jury, into whether or not the pressure campaign by Trump and his allies that occurred in Georgia was illegal in nature.

Raffensperger answered questions for investigators in that investigation, as well.

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