Gabriel Sterling, a top official in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and a self-proclaimed conservative, is fed up with President Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine the election results—and his refusal to condemn harassment toward election officials.
“It’s all gone too far,” Sterling said at a Tuesday press conference at which he addressed Trump directly.
“Stop inspiring people to step up and commit potential acts of violence,” he said to the outgoing president. “Someone’s gonna get hurt. Someone’s gonna get shot. Someone’s gonna get killed. And it’s not right.”
Georgia has been at the middle of a storm of baseless accusations of voter fraud over the past few weeks. In just the past several days, Trump has tweeted attacks on the state’s Republican governor and called the secretary of state, whom he once praised, an “enemy of the people.”
At the press conference Tuesday, Sterling expressed his anger at the increasingly violent rhetoric used against election workers, including a Trump campaign attorney’s comment that former cybersecurity official Chris Krebs should be “shot.” The straw that broke the camel’s back, Sterling said, was when “a 20-something tech in Gwinnett County today” had “death threats and a noose put out saying he should be hung for treason because he was transferring a report on batches from EMS to a county computer so he could read it.”
Sterling said that he encourages people to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech and protest, but that he draws the line at death threats and intimidation.
“Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language,” he continued. “This has to stop. We need you to step up, and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some.”
Watch the video below:
"It has all gone too far." Georgia election official @GabrielSterling just called on Donald Trump to condemn threats against election workers: "This has to stop. We need you to step up—and if you're going to take a position of leadership, show some." pic.twitter.com/jQ4ZC0A14M
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) December 1, 2020