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Trump asked Georgia governor to persuade state legislature to overturn Biden victory in state: report

President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE asked Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempGeorgia teachers to be next in line in state for coronavirus vaccine The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Lawmakers commemorate one-year anniversary of Arbery's killing MORE (R) to persuade the state’s legislature to overturn the results of the election in the state hours ahead of a campaign rally for Georgia Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerKelly Loeffler's WNBA team sold after players' criticism Please, President Trump: Drop your quest for revenge and help the GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan MORE (R) and David PerdueDavid PerduePlease, President Trump: Drop your quest for revenge and help the GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Georgia's GOP-led Senate passes bill requiring ID for absentee voting MORE (R), according to The Washington Post.

The president called Kemp on Saturday morning and reportedly pressured the governor to call a special session of the legislature to overturn the results and appoint electors who would back him, a person familiar with conversation told the Post.

Trump also asked Kemp to demand an audit of absentee ballot signatures, the Post reported, which Kemp has no power to do. Kemp turned down Trump’s requests, the person told the Post.

Kemp spokesman Cody Hall told The Hill in a statement that Trump called Kemp on Saturday morning to express his condolences regarding the death of Harrison Deal, a campaign staffer for Loeffler and longtime family friend of the governor. 
 
He did not address questions about the president's other requests, though Kemp tweeted Saturday afternoon that he told the president during the call that he has repeatedly asked for a signature audit, something Trump has been insistent upon.
 
"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. #gapol," Kemp wrote.
 
The president replied later in the day, slamming Kemp for not having better control over his state's legislature.
 
"But you never got the signature verification! Your people are refusing to do what you ask. What are they hiding?" Trump wrote. "At least immediately ask for a Special Session of the Legislature. That you can easily, and immediately, do. #Transparency"
 

The president and his allies have repeatedly claimed that rampant voter fraud and issues such as ballot signatures were the reasons he lost the election. As a result, the Peach State has emerged as the center of conservatives’ legal efforts to overturn the election results.

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A federal appeals court shot down on Saturday a bid to block Biden’s victory in the state. The decision followed an avalanche of legal losses this week in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states Biden won.

Despite the series of legal setbacks and Georgia’s certification of the results, Trump still seems convinced that he could somehow win the state.

"I will easily & quickly win Georgia if Governor @BrianKempGA or the Secretary of State permit a simple signature verification. 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!" Trump tweeted Saturday.

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Meanwhile, some Republicans are concerned that Trump’s attacks on the election outcome will have a negative impact on the state’s crucial Senate runoff races. Democrats need to win both races to secure a 50-50 tie, where Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDwayne 'The Rock' Johnson vs. Donald Trump: A serious comparison Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate MORE would serve as the tiebreaking vote.

The Trump campaign and the White House did not return requests for comment.

Updated: 5 p.m.

The Hill's Lisa Conley-Kendzior contributed.