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Georgia governor says he'd back Trump in 2024, despite Trump calling for him to be jailed for refusing to overturn election results

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Georgia governor says he'd back Trump in 2024, despite Trump calling for him to be jailed for refusing to overturn election results

2021-03-04 07:30:55

By K. Shalini

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he'd support Trump as 2024 presidential candidate. "I think the president deserves a lot of credit," Kemp said. "And he's not going away." Trump relentlessly attacked Kemp when he refused to subvert the election result.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who was relentlessly attacked by Donald Trump for refusing to help overturn the presidential election, said he'd "absolutely" back Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee in 2024.

In an interview on Wednesday night Kemp was asked by host Neil Caputo if he'd support Trump if he was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate.

Kemp was endorsed by Trump in his close-run winning gubernatorial campaign in 2018. But, in the wake of the Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election, their relationship soured.

Kemp refused Trump's demand for support in subverting the election result in the state, where Joe Biden last November became the first Democrat to win Georgia since 1992.

In response, Trump repeatedly attacked Kemp, calling for him to resign, saying he regretted endorsing him, and even sharing a tweet in December calling Kemp to be jailed. Auditors who checked the state's 15,000 mail-in ballots found no evidence of the mass fraud which Trump's campaign claimed had taken place in the state.

Trump's attacks on GOP election officials in Georgia are believed by Republican strategists to have played a key role in the party's loss in the two Senate runoff elections on January 3. The victory of the Democratic candidates meant that the party was able to seize control of the Senate.

Since leaving office under a cloud of disgrace following the January 6 Capitol riot by supporters seeking to halt Biden's certification as president, Trump has refused to take a low profile and in a speech at the CPAC conference Sunday teased that he is considering a run for the presidency in 2024.

Some Republicans lawmakers have blamed Trump for inciting the January 6 Capitol riot and seeking to undermine the election result. But the majority of the party's grassroots supporters and most of its lawmakers and state parties have remained loyal to the former president. Kemp's statement of support is similar to one given by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week.

It came despite McConnell heavily criticizing Trump's behavior ahead of the riot at the US Capitol, and Trump later calling McConnell "a dour, sullen, unsmiling political hack."

 

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