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Georgia governor rejects Trump's call to 'overrule' elections officials with emergency powers

The Hill logo The Hill 11/30/2020 Morgan Gstalter
Brian P. Kemp wearing a blue shirt: Georgia governor rejects Trump's call to 'overrule' elections officials with emergency powers © Getty Images Georgia governor rejects Trump's call to 'overrule' elections officials with emergency powers

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's (R) office on Monday rejected President Trump's call for him to "overrule" his secretary of state.

In a statement to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Kemp spokesperson said that "Georgia law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections" after Trump in messages on Twitter questioned why the "hapless" governor was not interceding on his behalf.

"The Secretary of State, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order," Kemp's communication's director, Cody Hall, 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."

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, who is also a Republican, said in November that Republicans, including Trump ally and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), had pressured him to exclude ballots as part of an effort to swing the state's election to Trump. Graham denied the charge.

Raffensberger and Kemp both certified the results of the election, which after a recount found President-elect Joe Biden to have defeated Trump by more than 12,000 votes.

Trump has repeatedly lashed out at at both Republicans, and he has refused to concede his loss in Georgia or nationally.

His feud with Kemp has also intensified, with Trump stating that he was "ashamed" that he endorsed Kemp and that "he's done absolutely nothing."

This has all happened as the state gears up for two runoff elections in January that will determine the U.S. senate majority.

Raffensperger has called himself a "proud Trump supporter" and acknowledged his disappointment in the president's defeat, but reiterated his confidence in the vote count.

"Numbers don't lie. As secretary of state, I believe the numbers that we have presented today are correct," he said. "The numbers reflect the verdict of the people."

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