Trump presses Kemp to overturn Georgia election results in private phone call

ATLANTA — President Donald 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 to Gov. Brian Kemp in a phone call on Saturday, and the governor refused, according to the Associated Press. 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.

The call was independently confirmed to Channel 2 Action News by Kemp’s office.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Election 2020]

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.

Trump’s fixation with his defeat is overshadowing his party’s campaign to save its majority in the Senate. 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.

GEORGIA VOTER GUIDE:

Kemp alluded to the conversation on his own tweet Saturday morning.

“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,” Kemp said.

“But you never got the signature verifications!” Trump tweeted back to Kemp later. “Your people are refusing to do what you ask. What are they hiding? At least immediately ask for a Special Session of the legislature. That you can easily, and immediately, do.”

Trump has launched attacks against Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger since the election, prompting Raffensperger to pen a scathing op-ed about the president defending the election process in Georgia.

Raffensperger has said that he won’t do a signature audit unless there is evidence of wrongdoing, which so far, there has not been.

Trump is set to attend a rally for senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Valdosta Saturday night.

Kemp announced he will not attend Trump’s rally today because of the death of Harrison Deal, a close family friend and staffer for Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Trump did offer his condolences over Deal’s death.