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'I want to stay presidential': Donald Trump calls on Georgia governor to overturn election result

Trump spoke with governor Brian Kemp hours before he held a rally in the state.

Image: PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has called on Georgia’s governor to hold a special legislative session to overturn the presidential election result in the state.

Trump spoke with governor Brian Kemp spoke on the phone just hours before he appeared at a rally in Valdosta, Georgia, where Republicans hope the president will dedicate his energy to a vote in two run-off Senate elections on 5 January.

President-elect Joe Biden took the state by 12,670 votes and won a record 81 million votes nationally.

But there are fears among Republicans that Trump’s fixation with his election defeat is threatening to overshadow the party’s campaign to save its majority in the US senate.

Sources said the president asked Kemp to order the legislative session, but the governor refused.

According to a tweet from the governor, Trump also asked him to order an audit of absentee ballots from the presidential race in his state, a step Kemp is not able to take because he has no authority to interfere in the electoral process on the president’s behalf.

Trump’s personal contact with the governor demonstrated he is intent on amplifying his conspiratorial and debunked theories of electoral fraud even as Georgia Republicans want him to turn his focus to encouraging supporters to vote in the run-off elections.

The party is concerned that Trump is stoking so much suspicion about Georgia elections that voters will think the system is rigged and decide to sit out the two races.

Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are trying to fend off Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively, and keep the US senate under Republican control.

Republicans need one more seat for a senate majority. Democrats need a Georgia sweep to force a 50-50 senate, which would position vice president-elect Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking majority vote.

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Trump pressed his own grievances over losing the presidential election at a rally in Georgia, where thousands of supporters gathered.

After arriving in the state, it became apparent the president’s aim was to air his own complaints and stoke baseless doubts about the conduct of last month’s vote.

“I want to stay on presidential, but I got to get to these two,” he said during his speech before pulling out a piece of paper and read a list of his electoral achievements, including falsely asserting he won Georgia and the White House.

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