ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has responded to President Donald Trump's calls to question the results of the state's presidential election.
Speaking on FOX News Sunday, Trump said that he was "ashamed" for endorsing Kemp to be governor of Georgia in 2018, saying that the governor has "done absolutely nothing” to question the state’s results.
On Monday, Trump continued focusing on Kemp, calling him "hapless" and asking why he didn't "use his emergency powers, which can be easily done, to overrule his obstinate Secretary of State."
"It will be a 'goldmine' of fraud, and we will easily win the state," Trump said,
In response, a spokesperson for Kemp said that "Georgia law prohibits the Governor from interfering in elections."
"The Secretary of State, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order," the spokesperson said. "As the Governor has said repeatedly, he will continue to follow the law and encourage the Secretary of State to take reasonable steps - including a sample audit of signatures - to restore trust and address serious issues that have been raised.”
Trump has seethed over losing the southern state, which hadn’t voted for a Democrat for president in nearly 30 years. In January, the state will decide whether the GOP retains control of the U.S. Senate when voters decide two run-off Senate races.
The president had previously attacked Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, calling him an "enemy of the people," and Gov. Brian Kemp, himself a former Georgia secretary of state, on social media.
Raffensperger responded with an op-ed defending his job performance and his conservative credentials, saying that the president "refused to accept the facts" of the results.
When Kemp announced his certification of the 16 Democrats who’ll cast Georgia’s electoral votes for Biden, the governor took pains to make clear it was a purely ministerial act required by law.
Democrats hope for two other upset victories in twin Senate races on Jan. 5 against Republican officeholders. That would deny Republicans their majority, keeping the GOP with 50 seats, while Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be available for tie-breaking votes.
Democrat Jon Ossoff is challenging Sen. David Perdue while Rev. Raphael Warnock takes on Sen. Kelly Loeffler. No candidate won at least 50% of the vote share in this month’s election, leading to the head-to-head runoffs.
Ossoff said Sunday that a Republican-controlled Senate will hit the Biden administration with the same “obstructionism” it mounted against former President Barack Obama.
“It will be paralysis, partisan trench warfare,” he told CNN. “At a moment of crisis, when we need strong action.”
Loeffler on Fox News said GOP victories would be a “firewall to socialism” and the Democratic policies of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. It is Loeffler’s first election cycle after Gov. Kemp appointed her to the seat in January when her predecessor resigned.
Trump plans to arrive in the state he lost on Saturday to campaign for the GOP incumbents.
“We’re making sure that Georgians are fired up to turn out to vote,” Loeffler said. “If we vote, we will win this election.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.