Trump to stump for Loeffler, Perdue amid tensions with Georgia officials
President Trump will travel to Georgia on Saturday to campaign for Republican senators in two runoff elections that will decide the Senate majority, amid tensions with Georgia officials over his baseless claims of electoral fraud.
Trump is scheduled to participate in a rally hosted by the Republican National Committee with GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler along with other Republican officials in Valdosta, Ga., Saturday evening. Perdue and Loeffler will face off with Democratic candidates in the runoff elections on Jan. 5.
Trump told reporters last week that he planned to campaign in Georgia to boost Republicans in the two runoff elections; the Trump campaign officially announced the rally on Wednesday afternoon.
Trump’s appearance in the Peach State is intended to boost Perdue and Loeffler and help Republicans maintain control of the Senate. But some Republicans have expressed concerns that Trump’s attacks on the electoral process that have divided the GOP could ultimately hurt Republican chances of holding on to the two Senate seats.
Trump, who has refused to concede the election despite his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, criticized Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) after he certified election results cementing Biden’s victory in the state. In a Fox News interview over the weekend, Trump said he was “ashamed” to have endorsed Kemp in the Georgia gubernatorial contest in 2018.
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s Republican voting system implementation manager, on Tuesday called on Trump to condemn threats against election officials that have been made amid the challenges to the election.
“Mr. President, it looks like you likely lost the state of Georgia. We’re investigating, there’s always a possibility, I get it, you have the right to go through the courts,” Sterling said in a press conference. “What you don’t have the ability to do — and you need to step up and say this — is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.”
Vice President Pence is slated to visit Georgia on Friday, first to receive a coronavirus vaccine briefing at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta and then to attend a rally with Perdue and Loeffler in Savannah.
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