“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.”
“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.”
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.
“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.”
CNN’s Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.