Georgia's Secretary of State Calls Trump Supporters' Threats Against His Family 'Unpatriotic,' Says It's 'Disheartening'

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who voted for President Donald Trump, said criticism and threats against him and his family in the wake of the election are "unpatriotic" and "disheartening" to see.

Last week, Trump described Raffensperger as an "enemy of the people" for legally certifying his state's electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden who carried the state by about 12,000 votes. The president and lawyers who support him have called Georgia's election results "rigged," while at least some Republican voters in the state have suggested they will boycott Senate runoff elections on January 5 in protest. Raffensperger and other Republican leaders in Georgia have faced significant criticism, calls to resign and even death threats.

Speaking to CNN in an interview broadcast Thursday morning, Raffensperger said that his wife Tricia was the first in his family to receive threats.

"Tricia got the first ones. For some reason they targeted her. And then, I think, first of all it was, 'Tell Brad to step down,' and you know, that type of thing," the GOP official said. "But then you know, they just really ramped up. And I think that's what's been so much disheartening, and the language that they use, and threats that they use."

"It's just really unpatriotic," the Republican official said.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says that his faith and past tragedies helped him overcome threats and attacks from President Trump after pushing back against the President’s false claims of voter fraud.

— New Day (@NewDay) December 3, 2020

Raffensperger explained that his trust in God and his faith helps him through difficult times, noting that his family's support and approval is what matters most as he faces the attacks. "They're proud of where I stand and they just—they understand it's a tough spot that I'm in right now," he said. "But that's really important—that they see my integrity and they're grateful for it."

Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

In an article for USA Today published on November 25, Raffensperger, who was endorsed by Trump in 2018, explained that he and his family had not only voted for the president in the November election but also donated to his campaign.

"By all accounts, Georgia had a wildly successful and smooth election. We finally defeated voting lines and put behind us Fulton County's now notorious reputation for disastrous elections. This should be something for Georgians to celebrate, whether their favored presidential candidate won or lost," Raffensperger wrote

"For those wondering, mine lost—my family voted for him [Trump], donated to him and are now being thrown under the bus by him," he added.

Although Biden was projected as the winner of the presidential election nearly a month ago, Trump has refused to concede. The president and his legal team have pushed unfounded conspiracy theories of widespread voter fraud in Georgia and other battleground states. Trump and Republicans have filed dozens of legal challenges to the election results in multiple states, but judges—including a Trump appointee in Pennsylvania—have consistently ruled against them, explaining that they have not provided evidence to support their often bizarre claims. Meanwhile, Trump continues to insist that he was the victim of a massive conspiracy, even as some of his close allies and friends have strongly criticized his legal tactics.

"There are those who are exploiting the emotions of many Trump supporters with fantastic claims, half-truths, misinformation, and frankly, they're misleading the president as well, apparently," Raffensperger said during a Monday news conference.

Brad Raffensperger
Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks onstage during 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on January 20 in Atlanta, Georgia Paras Griffin/Getty