This week brought a chilling reminder that Trump’s election fraud claims weren’t just hot air — they had serious, harmful effects on real people. 62-year-old Georgia poll worker Ruby Freeman reportedly had to move out of her home of 20 years when an online conspiracy theory brought threatening calls and letters and vigilantes menacing her neighbors. As it turns out, one of those who traveled to her home to harass her over the fake voter fraud was on the staff of rapper Kanye West, who himself had just ended an ill-fated, slapdash Presidential campaign, which some believed was a ploy to siphon Black voters away from Joe Biden.
Reuters reports that Trevian Kutti, a publicist for Kanye, went to Freeman’s home, telling Ruby that she worked for an unidentified “high-profile individual” and telling her that she had 48 hours to confess to voter fraud or she would be arrested and sent to jail. Freeman says she called 911, requesting a police officer to come and keep an eye on things. By this time, she’d been harassed for weeks after Trump accused her publicly of what amounted to ballot stuffing, although authorities quickly refuted his unfounded claims.
Kutti and her companion, a male who called himself a “crisis manager,” told Freeman she was “in danger,” prompting them to move the conversation to the police station. On an officer’s body cam video, Kutti could reportedly be heard telling Freeman, “You are a loose end for a party that needs to tidy up.” After Kutti called an unknown person she said had “authoritative powers to get you protection,” Freeman said the two tried to get her to implicate herself.
Eventually, Freeman turned Kutti away and later looked her up, finding out that she was a Trump supporter. Prior to working with Kanye, which was confirmed by media reports and Kutti’s own website, she’d worked for R. Kelly. The next day after the visit, Freeman was advised by the FBI to vacate her home. On January 6, Freeman says, a mob of Trump supporters surrounded the home, shouting through bullhorns.
Kanye hadn’t responded to Reuters’ request for comment as of press time.