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Sec. of State: 'I want to extend grace to those that seemingly have hate in their heart'

Sec. Brad Raffensperger said he fully supported comments made yesterday by an official in his office which called out President Trump.

ATLANTA — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Wednesday a deputy of his had "full support" when he made impassioned comments yesterday chastising President Donald Trump.

That deputy, Gabriel Sterling, had said rhetoric about election fraud had "gone too far" and told the president to "stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence."

Of those comments, Sec. Raffensperger said Sterling "spoke with passion and he spoke it with truth."

"It's about time that more people out there speak with truth," the secretary added.

RELATED: State election official to Trump: 'Stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence'

The comments came as Sterling detailed how a Dominion technician in Gwinnett County had become the subject of abuse and threats online, amid escalating attacks by the president and his most ardent supporters on Georgia officials and the state's election process.

"I want to extend grace to those that seemingly have hate in their heart," Raffensperger, who has said he voted for President Trump and wanted him to win the election, said. "We've all been through an awful lot. We wish that our guy won the election, but it doesn't look like our guy has won the election. It looks like Vice President Biden will be carrying Georgia, and he is our president-elect."

"I encourage all of you to stay engaged, advocate for your values, policies and goals you believe - argue, persuade and engage," the secretary added. "But do so peacefully."

Georgia's official recount will end tonight at midnight, but the rhetoric is not likely to abate. 

Two main lawsuits filed by the president's legal advocates - including Sidney Powell's "Kraken" suit - continue to progress in the courts, and Trump's top allies in Georgia, such as Rep. Doug Collins, continue to agitate for a form of audit on the signatures of absentee ballots.

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