Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Law Enforcement | brian kemp | governor | georgia | election fraud

Trump Rips Gov. Kemp After Failing to Back Georgia Challenge

brian kemp stops to listen during a news conference
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp (John Bazemore/AP)

Saturday, 05 December 2020 08:41 PM

President Donald Trump ripped Republican Gov. Brian Kemp at a rally for the state's two Republican senators, hours after the governor refused a direct entreaty from the president to intervene to overturn Trump's loss in the state.

As the large crowd chanted "stop the steal" – what has become a rallying cry for Republicans unwilling to accept Democrat Joe Biden's victory in last month's presidential election – Trump responded, "Your governor could stop it very easily if he knew what the hell he was doing."

Hours before the Valdosta rally, Trump asked Kemp in the phone call to order the legislative session to subvert the election results, but the governor refused, according to a senior government official in Georgia with knowledge of the call who was not authorized to discuss the private conversation. A person close to the White House who was briefed on the matter verified that account of the call.

According to a tweet from Kemp, Trump also asked him to order an audit of signatures on absentee ballot envelopes in his state, a step Kemp is not empowered to take because he has no authority to interfere in the electoral process on Trump's behalf.

Trump has fruitlessly pressed Georgia's governor to call a special legislative session aimed at overturning the presidential election results in that state.

Trump made his request of Gov. Kemp in a phone call Saturday, and the governor refused. That is according to a senior government official in Georgia with knowledge of the call who was not authorized to discuss the private conversation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A person close to the White House who was briefed on the matter verified that account of the call.

Trump's request was first reported by The Washington Post.

The call took place hours before Trump is to appear at a rally in Georgia, where Republicans hope he will dedicate his energy to imploring their supporters to vote in two runoff elections Jan. 5.

Kemp, in a tweet, said Trump also asked him to order an audit of signatures on absentee ballot envelopes in his state, a step Kemp is not empowered to take because he has no authority to interfere in the electoral process on Trump's behalf.

Trump, though, vented his frustrations with Kemp on Twitter and at the rally.

"Your people are refusing to do what you ask," he complained in a tweet, as if speaking with Kemp. "What are they hiding? At least immediately ask for a Special Session of the Legislature. That you can easily, and immediately, do."

Trump's personal contact with the governor demonstrated he is intent on rooting out electoral fraud even as Georgia Republicans want him to turn his focus to the Jan. 5 runoff election and encourage their supporters to get out and vote.

In his tweet, Kemp said: "As I told the president this morning, I've publicly called for a signature audit three times (11/20, 11/24, 12/3) to restore confidence in our election process and to ensure that only legal votes are counted in Georgia."

While the governor does not have the authority to order a signature audit, an audit was initiated by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and it triggered a full hand recount.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


US
President Donald Trump ripped Republican Gov. Brian Kemp at a rally for the state's two Republican senators, hours after the governor refused a direct entreaty from the president to intervene to overturn Trump's loss in the state.
brian kemp, governor, georgia, election fraud, voter fraud, rally
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2020-41-05
Saturday, 05 December 2020 08:41 PM
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