Ga. election official: Trump spreading 'misinformation and disinformation'

By Jean Lotus
Georgia election officials said President Donald Trump was trying to undermine faith in the system. Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI
Georgia election officials said President Donald Trump was trying to undermine faith in the system. Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A Georgia election official said Monday that President Donald Trump and his lawyers were spreading "misinformation and disinformation" about the state's election tallies and trying to undermine faith in the system.

Gabriel Sterling, voting system implementation manager for Georgia's Secretary of State office, said in a news conference the president's efforts to overturn the results of the Georgia election were based on allegations that were "all easily, provably false."


He said the president's persistent claims "undermine Georgians' faith in the system. Especially Georgia Republicans."

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger did not appear at the news conference, where Sterling discussed a phone call from Trump pressuring his office to "find 11,780 votes" to overturn the state's certified election results.

"The secretary of state wants you to know that your vote counts and your vote counted," Sterling said.


President-elect Joe Biden was certified as the winner of the election in Georgia after a recount and audit. Biden won the state's 16 electoral votes, with 306 votes overall, surpassing the 270 needed to win. Trump garnered 232.

Sterling disputed as false claims about illegal voting in Georgia, which he likened to "whack a mole" and "Groundhog's Day."

He said Trump's lawyers had made fraudulent claims, including that tens of thousands of votes allegedly cast by felons, underage voters, dead voters, unregistered voters, or voters registered to a P.O. box.

Sterling said election officials had followed up on every claim and found them all false.

"No one is changing parts or pieces of Dominion voting machines," Sterling said. "That's not real. That is not happening. I don't even know how to explain that."

Sterling said the facts were posted on the secretary of state's, which crashed several times during his press conference.

On Tuesday, voters in Georgia will choose both U.S. senators in a runoff election that could swing control of the U.S. Senate from a Republican to a Democrat majority. The election pits GOP incumbent David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.


Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will appear at last-minute rallies in Georgia supporting Loeffler and Perdue, while Biden will address voters at an Atlanta rally for Democrats Ossoff and Warnock.

Trump called Raffensperger and the Georgia secretary of state's general counsel, Ryan Germany, last week and asked them to "find 11,780 votes."

Trump cited unfounded claims of fraud and tried to cajole the officials with threats of legal and political consequences.

"All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state," Trump said.

The recording of the phone call was published Sunday by the Washington Post and other news outlets.

Raffensperger and the attorney are heard on the call refusing Trump's demands.

"Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong," Raffensperger told the president.

On Monday, two U.S. Congress members asked FBI Chief Christopher Wray to "open an immediate criminal investigation" of Trump's call. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., accused Trump of election fraud and conspiracy to commit election crimes.


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