Dec 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Georgia Gov. Kemp says pro-Trump conspiracy theorists have threatened his family

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaking in Savannah on Dec. 15.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaking in Savannah on Dec. 15. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday told reporters that he, his wife and three daughters have been targeted with conspiracy theory-fueled death threats and false claims after he refused President Trump's request to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Why it matters: Kemp did not blame Trump for the attacks, even though the president has openly raged against the governor, promoted false claims of election fraud and attempted to encourage officials to overturn Biden's victory.

Context: Trump asked Kemp over the phone in early December to call a special legislative session aimed at overturning the presidential election results in Georgia.

  • Kemp refused, and Trump in turn denounced the governor in a tweet.

What they're saying: “It has gotten ridiculous — from death threats, bribes from China, the social media posts that my children are getting,” Kemp said. “We have the ‘no crying in politics rule’ in the Kemp house. But this is stuff that, if I said it, I would be taken to the woodshed and would never see the light of day.”

  • “I can assure you I can handle myself. And if they’re brave enough to come out from underneath that keyboard or behind it, we can have a little conversation if they would like to.”

The big picture: Kemp said his relationship with Trump is "fine."

  • "I know he’s frustrated, and I’ve disagreed on things with him before,” the governor said, adding: “Look, at the end of the day, I’ve got to follow the laws and the Constitution and the Constitution of this state.”

Trump, however, has called Kemp a “fool” and a "clown" and said he was "ashamed" for endorsing him in 2018.

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