President Trump’s supporters turned the State Capitol in Atlanta into a sea of red, white and blue as they protested Georgia’s recount. As tensions between them and left-wing counter-protesters rose, police dispersed the rally.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed off on his state’s mandatory hand recount of election results on Friday, certifying Joe Biden’s apparent win, but paving the way for the Trump campaign to push for a more thorough audit of the vote. Joe Biden apparently won the peach state by a razor-thin margin of just over 12,000 votes, but the Trump campaign insists that many of these votes were illegally cast.
Waving American flags and ‘Make America Great Again’ banners, several hundred of Trump’s most loyal supporters gathered outside the State Capitol on Saturday, chanting “stop the steal,” a phrase that has become a rallying cry for conservatives who believe this year’s presidential election was rigged in favor of Biden.
A smaller group of counter-protesters showed up. Masked and clad in black, they held signs declaring President Trump a “fascist,” and waved ‘Black Lives Matter’ flags. Some of these counter-protesters were armed, as were some militia members on the pro-Trump side.
As cops stepped in to defuse arguments between the right-wing ‘Proud Boys’ leader Enrique Tarrio and some BLM protesters, the police ordered both sides to clear the streets by 2pm, two hours after the Trump rally kicked off.
As Georgia recounted its votes, protests outside the capitol in Atlanta in recent days drew some of Trump’s most fervent supporters, including right-wing media personality Nick Fuentes and controversial Infowars polemicist Alex Jones. Protesting outside the building on Thursday, Fuentes declared “they are trying to certify the result tomorrow so they can steal the election in Georgia and steal this entire thing.”
Georgia’s recount did not certify ballot signatures against voter rolls, nor did it verify addresses on mail-in ballots. Though Kemp certified the results of the recount, Jenna Ellis – one of the Trump campaign’s lawyers – said afterwards that the campaign will continue to “pursue all legal options to ensure that only legal ballots are counted.”
Among the discrepancies cited by the Trump campaign are the state’s unprecedentedly low rejection rate of mail-in ballots, “improbable” margins for Biden found during the recount, and sworn witness reports of what appeared to be batches of machine-printed ballots in favor of the Democrat.
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