DONALD Trump called Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to demand state officials overturn Joe Biden's victory hours before his rally for the state's Senate runoffs, reports say.
Trump apparently called Kemp on Saturday morning before his visit to Valdosta after repeatedly slamming the governor on Twitter and vowed to "easily win."
Kemp was urged to convince the state legislature to overturn Biden's win in-state, reported The Washington Post before Trump's rally to elicit support for Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the January runoffs.
The request from Trump came as the president offered his condolences for a 20-year-old campaign staffer to Loeffler, who died in a car crash on Friday before the senator's rally with Vice President Mike Pence, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Kemp also asked to order an audit of absentee ballot signatures – something Kemp has no power to do – after Trump's repeated claims of a fraudulent race.
The president reportedly wanted Kemp to get lawmakers to override the results and appoint electors that would support him, sources said – but Kemp refused to cooperate with either of Trump's demands, the Post noted.
The governor, who recently revealed that he had received death threats as a result of the election result, referenced their conversation in a Twitter statement shortly after 12.40pm.
He said: "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."
This was in response to Trump's midday claims that he had beaten Biden in-state before his 7pm event in Valdosta, a small city near the Georgia-Florida border.
"I will easily & quickly win Georgia if Governor @BrianKempGA or the Secretary of State permit a simple signature verification," he tweeted.
"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!"
Kemp's spokesman confirmed he spoke to Trump but the president's campaign rep Tim Murtaugh didn't comment.
It's been reported that Kemp won't be attending Trump's rally on Saturday.
The news comes as the Trump campaign's bid to stop Georgia from certifying Biden's victory was rejected by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals today in his team's latest high profile legal loss.
Trump recently told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that Kemp had done "absolutely nothing" to assist his rigged election crusade, despite 40 failed election suits in key states, remarking: "I'm ashamed that I endorsed him."
Trump's giant Georgia rally is scheduled a day after Pence held his second runoff rally in support Perdue and Loeffler in Savannah, GA on Friday.
The president, accompanied by Melania Trump, is due to leave Joint Base Andrews in Washington DC just before 5pm and are due to land in The Peach State at 6.50pm.
However, reports indicate that GOP members fear that touting this conspiracy theory could hinder their chances of winning a Senate majority.
Trump's claims of a fraudulent race, and attacks on GOP Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for not intervening when fellow Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified Biden's win, could prove problematic.
Perdue and Loeffler called for Raffensperger’s resignation.
The January 5 runoffs will determine which party controls the Senate once Biden takes control of the Oval Office.
Perdue has to beat Jon Ossoff while Loeffler takes on Raphael Warnock, both formidable Democratic challengers, to force a 50-50 Senate.
But if Democrats Ossoff and Warnock win the runoff, the Senate would be evenly split and Biden's Vice President Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote if needed, reports noted.
The Washington Post noted that, while Trump touts baseless claims that the Dominion Voting Systems machines used in Georgia were rigged, Perdue and Loeffler are asking voters to believe in a system he's tried to discredit.
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As the runoff looms, Politico revealed that two newly formed super PACs affiliated with Senate Majority PAC The Georgia Way and Georgia Honor have spent more than $10 million on the campaign since November 3.
The fund were spent on ads hammering the portfolios of Perdue and Loeffler before they face off with their Dem rivals in January.
Earlier this week it emerged that they've forked out $5.5 million on two new ads.