Months before the 2020 election, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rejected repeated demands by the Trump campaign to endorse the president—and he now believes the attacks on his job performance this November are “clear retaliation,” according to ProPublica. According to the outlet, the Trump campaign began pressuring Raffensperger in January for his support, which he refused multiple times because he believed the endorsement would be a conflict of interest as he oversees the voting results in Georgia. The secretary of state said at the helm of this crusade for his public support was Billy Kirkland, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign who once barged into a meeting in Raffensperger’s office in the spring demanding his support for the president.
After another meeting, where Raffensperger again refused to endorse Trump and left for an event, one of the GA official’s staffers asked if there was any additional publicly available voter data that the Republican party needed. “We’ll see how helpful you are in November,” Kirkland allegedly said, before leaving the office in anger. “They thought Georgia was a layup shot Republican win. It is not the job of the secretary of state’s office to deliver a win—it is the sole responsibility of the Georgia Republican Party to get out the vote and get its voters to the polls. That is not the job of the secretary of state’s office,” said Raffensperger, who has since publicly expressed his frustration with the Trump administration’s accusations of voter fraud in his state.