United States President Donald Trump is greeted by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp when he arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on July 15, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump called Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Saturday asking him to convince state lawmakers to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia and allow signatures to be checked for absentee ballots.
The request is Trump’s latest attempt to disrupt the 2020 presidential election results in a state where two GOP Senate runoff races in January could decide which party controls the Senate. The call was first reported by the Washington Post.
Trump has argued with no evidence that Georgia election officials accepted ballot papers with signatures that did not match the files. A post-election recount in Georgia confirmed Biden’s victory and the results were confirmed.
The president referred to the call in a tweet on Saturday afternoon, calling for a signature verification of the postal vote in Georgia and asserting disagreements.
“I’ll win Georgia easily and quickly if Governor @BrianKempGA or the Secretary of State allows a simple verification of the signature,” Trump wrote. “Wasn’t done and will show big discrepancies. Why do these two ‘Republicans’ say no? If we win Georgia, everything will fit together!”
Kemp, a Republican and longtime ally of Trump, wrote on Saturday in response to the president’s tweet: “As I told the president this morning, I publicly requested signature verification three times (11/20/11, 11/24, 12/3) 3) restore confidence in our electoral process and ensure that only legal votes are counted in Georgia. “
In another tweet, President Kemp called on “immediately” to request a special session in the state parliament.
The governor reportedly denied the president’s request during the call, an anonymous source told the Post. Kemp’s office has publicly said that state law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections.
Gabriel Sterling, a Republican official in the Georgian Foreign Minister’s office, said Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud put election officials at risk by inciting death threats and harassment.
Kemp spokesman Cody Hall confirmed the president had called the governor, but only said that Trump offered condolences on the death of Harrison Deal, a young aide to Senator Kelly Loeffler. CNBC has asked the Trump campaign for comment.
Trump is campaigning for Sens. Loeffler and David Perdue in the state tonight as they face runoff elections against Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.