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Georgia elections chief says he is a ‘proud Trump supporter,’ but ‘the numbers don’t lie’ after recount

Georgia’s top election official reaffirmed his confidence in the state’s presidential election results on Friday, saying that while he is a “proud” supporter of President Trump, “the numbers don’t lie.”

“As I’ve said before, I’m a proud Trump supporter,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a news conference at the state Capitol. “I was with him early in the 2016 election cycle and he’s governed the nation by the same conservative principles that I hold dear.”

“Like other Republicans, I’m disappointed our candidate didn’t win Georgia’s electoral votes,” he continued. “Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie. As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people.”

Raffensperger’s remarks came as he prepares to certify the results of the presidential election in Georgia, making official President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

Biden was declared the winner in Georgia last week after amassing a roughly 13,000-vote edge over Trump. A subsequent hand recount of nearly 5 million ballots upheld Biden’s lead on Thursday, showing him with a 12,284-vote advantage over the president. 

With the vote certification on Friday, Biden will officially become the first Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 to carry the state of Georgia.

Trump has so far refused to concede the election to Biden and has repeated false claims of voter fraud and systemic irregularities, calling into question the legitimacy of the election. 

Raffensperger has repeatedly defended the accuracy of the vote count in Georgia, a move that has put him at odds with many members of his own party who have criticized his handling of the election and echoed Trump’s allegations of fraud and foul play.

Georgia’s two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, issued a joint statement last week calling on Raffensperger to step down over his handling of the election. Raffensperger swiftly refused that demand.

In an interview with The Hill this week, Raffensperger unloaded on Republican politicians for fueling the false fraud accusations and the notion that Biden’s victory in the presidential race could be overturned, though he declined to directly blame Trump for such ideas.

“There’s just people who are really angry and they’re being spun up,” Raffensperger said. “It’s really the spinners that should be ashamed for playing with people’s emotions. Politicians of both sides should never play with people’s emotions. It’s one thing to motivate people, I get that. But to spin people up and play with their emotions, it’s emotional abuse and they ought to grow up and start acting with integrity.”

Tags 2020 election Brad Raffensperger Certification David Perdue Donald Trump Georgia election Joe Biden Kelly Loeffler Recount

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