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Kemp dismisses Trump's call to resign as 'a distraction'

Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempNorth Carolina county reverses course, ends coke machine ban MLB All-Star game to stay in Denver, judge rules MLB calls lawsuit over All-Star Game 'political theatrics' MORE (R) waved off President TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report MORE's call for his resignation Wednesday, dismissing that demand and other complaints surrounding the presidential election in Georgia as distractions from more pressing issues. 

Speaking to reporters at the state capitol, Kemp said that his top priorities remained responding to the coronavirus pandemic and reelecting GOP Georgia Sens. David PerdueDavid PerdueLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Georgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' MORE and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Herschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock MORE, who are facing competitive runoff elections on Tuesday. 

“All these other things — there is a constitutional and legal process that is playing out, and I am very comfortable letting that process play out. But that horse has left the barn in Georgia and it’s headed to D.C. right now,” he said of the presidential election. 

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“The next vote is going to be there, not here,” he continued. “So people need to be focused on the vote that is happening here, and that is right now in early voting and it will be on Tuesday.”

Kemp’s remarks came hours after Trump abruptly called for the Georgia governor to step down. In a Wednesday morning tweet, the president called Kemp an “obstructionist” and attacked him for refusing to acknowledge that he won the presidential race in Georgia, despite President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE’s roughly 12,000-vote lead in the state.

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The tweet was Trump’s latest attack on Kemp, a longtime ally who received the president’s endorsement during his 2018 bid for the governor’s mansion. 

Despite his past support, Trump has repeatedly accused Kemp of mismanaging the 2020 presidential election and has demanded that he call a special session of the state legislature to overturn Biden’s win in Georgia.

Congress is set to meet in a joint session on Jan. 6 to certify the Electoral College vote and formalize Biden’s status as president-elect. A number of House Republicans and one senator — Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry Eliminate family and child poverty: Richard Nixon may help in today's debate GOP divided over bills targeting tech giants MORE (R-Mo.) — have vowed to challenge the certification when Congress meets next week.

Still, even with the election now in the hands of members of Congress, Trump has continued to train his ire on Kemp. The governor noted on Wednesday that he has not been invited to the president’s rally for Perdue and Loeffler next Monday, the day before the Jan. 5 runoff elections.

“I haven’t been invited to the rally yet,” Kemp told reporters. “I don’t really have a whole lot of details on that. I haven’t been focused on that. Obviously I have a lot of priorities on my plate right now.”

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Trump’s ongoing attacks on the Georgia governor have also put Loeffler and Perdue in a difficult position. Both senators have hitched their political fortunes closely to Trump, even as the president has turned on Kemp, banking on the support of Trump’s conservative base to propel them to victory in their runoffs.

Neither senator has said whether they agree with Trump’s call for Kemp to resign, and spokespeople for their campaigns did not respond to requests for comment on the matter. 

The fate of the GOP Senate majority is currently riding on Loeffler and Perdue. If both lose their respective runoff elections next Wednesday, it would effectively hand control of the upper chamber to the Democrats.