(CNN) – Georgia’s Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling said Wednesday night that he hates “being right” about then-President Donald Trump’s capacity to incite violence, following the U.S. Capitol insurrection earlier this month.
Sterling, a Republican, had pleaded with Trump during a December 1 news conference to “stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence” as Trump leaned into his election fraud conspiracy theories. “Someone’s going to get hurt, someone’s going to get shot, someone’s going to get killed, and it’s not right.”
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— Ron Sullivan (@CornerPubRon) January 8, 2021
“Be the bigger man here and stop — step in,” Sterling said at the time. “Tell your supporters, don’t be violent, don’t intimidate. All that’s wrong, it’s un-American.”
Speaking on Wednesday with CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront,” Sterling said the U.S. Capitol breach that followed his warning weeks later was the “worst-case scenario” he’d had in mind when he made those comments.
“When I was talking about that originally, you can see that happening, but then you think, there’s no way that happens. And then it happened,” Sterling said. “I hate being right. I’m disgusted that I was right.”
“We have to get back to a place where we can have disagreements, but the other side is not going to set you on fire,” he continued. “That’s true for Republicans on the far right and Democrats on the far left that believe the other side is essentially evil.”
For weeks, Trump had made a series of unfounded claims of election fraud in Georgia, for which there is no evidence. Republican officials rebuffed Trump’s calls to overturn the state’s election results more than a week after they had certified Joe Biden as the winner. Biden ultimately won the state with more than 12,000 votes.READ MORE: A 10-Year-Old Boy Has Part Of His Leg Amputated After Shark Attack
Sterling had grown visibly emotional during his December news conference as he described an incident in which a video of a Dominion Voting Machines contractor in Gwinnett County was spread online with claims of vote manipulation. After the video circulated, the man was accused of treason and found a noose outside his house. The man’s family members received death threats, Sterling said.
But Trump continued to peddle his fraud conspiracy theories, culminating in his January 6 rally speech that preceded the US Capitol riot, which left five dead, including an officer with the US Capitol Police.
Only after pleading from aides and congressional allies inside the besieged Capitol that day did Trump release a video urging the rioters to “go home,” while still fanning their baseless grievances about a stolen election.
Asked Wednesday if he would be willing to be a witness at Trump’s impeachment trial, Sterling said no one has talked to him about it, so he hadn’t contemplated it.
“I’ve got a job down here in Georgia that I have to do. But of course, if, you know, it comes to that, I don’t know if I have a choice in the matter.”MORE NEWS: A Florida Judge To Hold Hearing Tuesday On Request To Unseal Mar-A-Lago Affidavit
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