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Trump on Gov. Brian Kemp: ‘I’m ashamed that I endorsed him’

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Trump on Gov. Brian Kemp: 'I'm ashamed that I endorsed him' 2

  • President Donald Trump on Sunday expressed regret for supporting GOP Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a statement that could potentially create major discord only weeks before two critical US Senate runoff elections in the state.
  • In a call-in interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Trump harshly criticized both Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger for utilizing Dominion voting machines in the state.
  • “The governor has done nothing,” Trump said. “I’m ashamed that I endorsed him.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Sunday lit into Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, expressing regret for supporting the conservative Republican, a statement that could potentially create major discord only weeks before two critical US Senate runoff elections in the state.

Trump, still smarting from President-elect Joe Biden winning Georgia in the November election, has repeatedly blamed the state’s usage of Dominion Voting Systems machines for his defeat. Dominion has come under fire from conservatives in the wake of the election, with the company having to fend off debunked allegations that their machines facilitated voting irregularities.

After weeks of publicly sparring with Georgia’s GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over the election results, Kemp is Trump’s newest Peach State target.

In a call-in interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Trump’s first major television interview since the election, he decried unsupported claims of mass voter fraud and harshly criticized both Kemp and Raffensperger for utilizing Dominion voting machines in the state. Days after the election was called for Joe Biden, Trump shared a baseless conspiracy theory about Dominion Voting Systems, an election-software company that was used by battleground states, including Michigan and Georgia, as Business Insider’s Rachel E. Greenspan reported. Trump had claimed that Dominion “DELETED” more than one million Trump votes across the US by switching votes from Trump to Biden in Pennsylvania and other states. 

 “Everything has to be approved by the legislature, and they had judges making deals, and they had electoral officials making deals like this character in Georgia who’s a disaster,” Trump said of Raffensperger.

“The governor has done nothing,” he said. “He’s done absolutely nothing. I’m ashamed that I endorsed him. But I look at what’s going on — it’s so terrible.”

Kemp, formerly Georgia’s Secretary of State, narrowly defeated former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in the 2018 gubernatorial election. He has served as the state’s governor since January 2019.

Republicans, hoping to secure their majority in the US Senate, would like to focus on reelecting Republican Sen. David Perdue and electing appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler to the seat that was vacated by former Sen. Johnny Isakson in December 2019. Perdue will face Democrat Jon Ossoff and Loeffler face Democrat Raphael Warnock, respectively.

Runoff elections were triggered for both races since no candidate secured a majority of the vote in the November general election. Under Georgia state law, a Senate candidate must receive at least 50% of the vote to win an election.

Earlier this month, both Perdue and Loeffler called on Raffensperger to resign, which he rejected. 

Republicans would like to prevent any party disagreements or disunity that could jeopardize the Senate seats.

If Democrats can pick up both seats, there would be a 50-50 split in the Senate, giving the party a majority with Vice-President Kamala Harris having the ability to break ties.

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