President Donald Trump has arrived at a rally in Valdosta, Georgia where he will throw his support behind two Republican senators facing January runoffs, hours after Republican Governor Brian Kemp rejected his plea to help overturn Joe Biden‘s win in the state.
The January 5 runoffs pit two Republican senators, David Perdue and Loeffler, against well-funded Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock seeking to capture a state that has not elected a Democratic senator in 20 years.
The races will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Democrats need to gain both seats to seize a majority. If Republicans win one seat, they will retain control and be able to block much of Biden’s legislative agenda.
Earlier, the president and First Lady Melania waved to supporters as they walked along the South Lawn of the White House and boarded Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland Saturday afternoon.
Melania, who was sporting a long red leather coat and zebra print heels, smiled as they walked across the lawn while Trump bore a more sullen expression as his call with Kemp didn’t go as planned earlier in the day.
President Trump arrived at a rally in Valdosta, Georgia Saturday where he will endorse Republican senators David Perdue and Loeffler who are facing January runoffs
The president was greeted by thousands of MAGA supporters as he touched down in the battleground state
Thousands attended the Rally in Valdosta,Georgia where President Trump made visit to push for election of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the state’s run-off election
Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have been pitted against well-funded Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock seeking to capture a state that has not elected a Democratic senator in 20 years
The trip to Georgia came after Trump personally called the governor Saturday morning to pressure him to overturn Biden‘s win and to get him to order another signature audit of votes in the state.
The president asked Kemp to call a special session of the state legislature to flip the election result in his favor and appoint electoral college voters that will back him instead of the President-elect.
This marks the latest in a long line of attempts from Trump to claw back victory in Georgia after the state flipped blue for the first time in 18 years.
A source told the Washington Post about the conversation in which they said Kemp stood his ground and ‘declined the entreaty from Trump’.
Trump took to Twitter around midday – presumably not long after the phone call – to claim he would ‘easily and quickly’ win Georgia if Kemp permitted a ‘simple signature verification’ and hitting out at the governor and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking ‘why are these two ‘Republicans’ saying no?’
On Thursday, Kemp called for a signature audit of Georgia votes for the third time and claimed it would be ‘simple’ to do while saying the power to carry one out lies with Raffensperger.
Donald Trump and Melania Trump left the White House to head to a Senate runoff rally in Georgia, hours after Republican Governor Brian Kemp rejected the president’s plea to help overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state
They boarded Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland Saturday afternoon
Signature verification was already carried out on absentee ballot envelopes in the state before the votes were counted and it would now be impossible to trace an individual ballot back to the envelope it came in.
Trump is seeking to have mail-in ballots thrown out across the state as he continues to push unfounded claims of widespread election fraud and refuses to concede to the President-elect.
His legal efforts were dealt a monumental blow Friday when judges in six states rejected his team’s election fraud appeals.
His latest attack on the election process comes as he heads to Georgia for a rally Saturday night where he has vowed to get behind the two GOP Senate candidates Perdue and Loeffler to try to prevent the party losing control of the Senate.
This comes 24 hours after former President Barack Obama headed up a virtual rally in support of the two Democrat challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
Trump took to Twitter Saturday – presumably not long after the phone call – to claim he would ‘easily and quickly’ win Georgia if Kemp permitted a ‘simple signature verification’
Kemp quickly responded on Twitter, referencing his phone call with the president and saying he had already called for a signature audit to be carried out but does not have the power to enforce it
The source told the Post Trump asked Kemp to call a special session to overturn Georgia’s election results and appoint electors to the electoral college that would hand him the state’s 16 electoral college votes.
Trump also asked Kemp to order a signature verification audit of mail-in ballots in the state, the source said.
Kemp’s spokesperson Cody Hall also confirmed to the Post that the governor and the president had spoken over the phone Saturday morning.
Trump hit out at the governor on Twitter just after midday in a sign that the conversation didn’t go as planned for the president.
‘I will easily & quickly win Georgia if Governor @BrianKempGA or the Secretary of State permit a simple signature verification,’ claimed Trump on Twitter Saturday.
‘Has not been done and will show large scale discrepancies. Why are these two ‘Republicans’ saying no? If we win Georgia, everything else falls in place!’
Kemp quickly responded on Twitter, referencing his phone call with the president and saying he had already called for a signature audit to be carried out but does not have the power to enforce it.
‘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,’ the governor wrote.
Trump hit back at Kemp on Twitter urging him to ‘at least’ ask for a special session of the legislature and asking what ‘your people’ are ‘hiding’.
‘But you never got the signature verification! Your people are refusing to do what you ask,’ he raged.
‘What are they hiding? At least immediately ask for a Special Session of the Legislature. That you can easily, and immediately, do.’
On his journey to Georgia Trump fired off more tweets against Kemp.
‘Between Governor @DougDucey of Arizona and Governor @BrianKempGA of Georgia, the Democrat Party could not be happier. They fight harder against us than do the Radical Left Dems. If they were with us, we would have already won both Arizona and Georgia…’ he wrote.
‘We received more LEGAL votes by far. All I can do is run, campaign, and be a good (great!) President – it is 100% up to the states to manage the election. Republicans will NEVER forget this.’
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed Trump as ‘weird’ and ‘out of touch with reality’ for trying to push Georgia into overturning the election after the third count again found Biden won the state.
‘Trump is weird and out of touch with reality,’ the Democrat said when asked about the news live on CNN.