President Donald Trump is putting the screws to yet another Republican official in Georgia, demanding that he go along with his effort to overturn the results of the election he lost.
After roughly a month of public and private criticism of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Trump reportedly called Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr—also a Republican—to excoriate him, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Apparently, Trump had heard that Carr was calling Republican attorney generals around the country and asking them not to support Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit to throw out the results in Georgia and three other states President-elect Joe Biden flipped to win the election.
Carr, the incoming chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association, reportedly told Trump that wasn’t true, but he has publicly described Paxton’s lawsuit as “constitutionally, legally, and factually wrong.” A request for comment to Carr’s office was not immediately returned.
Seventeen of the 25 Republican state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in support of Paxton’s lawsuit. Trump will have lunch in the White House’s Cabinet Room on Thursday with Paxton and nine other Republican attorneys general who support Paxton’s lawsuit, according to Forbes. The White House is claiming the meeting, which will be closed to press, will be about “issues important to their citizens and the country, and ways to continue to advance the shared federal-state partnership,” Forbes reported.
Following the roughly 15-minute phone call between Trump and Carr as described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sens. David Perdue—who reportedly arranged the call—and Kelly Loeffler put out a joint statement in support of the lawsuit.
"This isn't hard and it isn't partisan. It's American," the pair said in a statement. "No one should ever have to question the integrity of our elections system and the credibility of its outcomes."
While Trump was reportedly “furious” with Carr, it’s nowhere near the ire he’s reserved for Kemp, whose campaign for governor he supported just two years ago. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted multiple times about Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s poll numbers, and over the weekend at a rally in Valdosta, Georgia, he urged close ally and outgoing U.S. Rep. Doug Collins to primary Kemp in 2022.
Both Perdue and Loeffler are set to face Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in January runoff elections, which will determine which party controls the Senate in the next Congress. But GOP insiders are worried that Trump’s attacks on Kemp and other officials and the antics of far-right “Kraken” cranks Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, will depress Republican turnout in what’s sure to be a low-turnout election.
“It’s a family discussion that spilled outside of the dining room into the living room. We’ve got to get it back under control,” former Georgia U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston told VICE News earlier this month, referring to Trump’s attacks on Kemp. “I don’t think anyone would say this is productive.”