Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp hit back at President Donald Trump Monday after the president called him 'hapless' and demanded he use 'emergency powers' to stop the state's certified election results from going forward.
Kemp, who Trump said Sunday he was 'ashamed' of having endorsed just two years ago, hit back in a statement that referenced state law.
'Georgia law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections. The Secretary of State, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order,' Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said.
'As the governor has said repeatedly, he will continue to follow the law and encourage the Secretary of State to take reasonable steps - including a sample audit of signatures - to restore trust and address serious issues that have been raised,' he added.
Kemp himself previously served as secretary of state.
After a state recount made no significant difference in Georgia and Biden's lead is roughly 12,000 votes, Trump attacked the state's Republican governor as 'hapless' on Monday.
'Why won't Governor @BrianKempGA, the hapless Governor of Georgia, use his emergency powers, which can be easily done, to overrule his obstinate Secretary of State, and do a match of signatures on envelopes. It will be a 'goldmine' of fraud, and we will easily WIN the state,' he tweeted.
The state conducted a hand recount, but Biden still became the first Democrat in 28 years to win the state.
Nevertheless, Trump has claimed he was 'robbed,' and even called Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger 'an enemy of the people.'
Trump also said Monday that he is fighting his increasingly desperate effort to remain in office by finding a way to overturn the vote in battleground states on behalf of his supporters – not for his own benefit.
Trump has maintained a drumbeat of unsupported claims of large-scale fraud through the Thanksgiving weekend and into Monday, despite a devastating Appeals court ruling against him in Pennsylvania and a Wisconsin recount that resulted in a boost for President-elect Joe Biden despite Trump paying for the count.
'I'm not fighting for me, I'm fighting for the 74,000,000 million people (not including the many Trump ballots that were 'tossed'), a record for a sitting President, who voted for me!' Trump tweeted.
I’m not fighting for me, I’m fighting for the 74,000,000 million people (not including the many Trump ballots that were “tossed”), a record for a sitting President, who voted for me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2020
In Wisconsin, where in keeping with state law Trump's campaign paid $3 million for a recount in two heavily-Democratic counties, Biden gained 87 votes.
Biden won 306 Electoral College votes to Trump's 232 in the Electoral College, in addition to amassing a substantial popular vote margin, beating Trump by more than 6 million votes and getting more than 80 million votes.
That hasn't kept Trump from keeping up his attacks on the vote count even after his administration finally allowed for transition activities to go forward.
'Also, quickly check the number of envelopes versus the number of ballots. You may just find that there are many more ballots than there are envelopes. So simple, and so easy to do. Georgia Republicans are angry, all Republicans are angry. Get it done!'
Trump and other loyalists have also attacked Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over his repeated statements vouching for the count in his state.
'My job as secretary of state is to make sure we have fair and honest elections, follow the law, follow the process. When you lose an election, you should leave quietly. It's the will of the people that has been expressed, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Saturday.
Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis are expected to join an Arizona Republican hearing-style event Monday, similar to one in Gettysburg last week where Trump called in and repeatedly asserted that he won the election.
Trump tweeted overnight: 'NO WAY WE LOST THIS ELECTION!' as he retweeted large crowd images White House aide Dan Scavino posted weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Biden is going ahead with his transition, announcing members of his communications team, amid reports about the economic team he is putting in place.
Although Trump stated outright that he is 'not fighting for me,' there are a number of ways in which Trump will be at a disadvantage once he is out of office. Prosecutors in New York are investigating his finances and tax filings, he has been under a multi-year audit from the IRS, and he will no longer enjoy protections under Justice Department policies from prosecution while in office. Trump has denied wrongdoing. He continues to face questions about whether he would seek to pardon himself or family members, although this would only apply to federal crimes, not potential allegations regarding state crimes.
Despite his fighting posture online, Trump acknowledged the difficulties he faced in a call-in interview with Fox host Maria Bartiroma Sunday.
'Well, the problem is, it's hard to get into the Supreme Court,' he told her on 'Sunday Morning Futures.'
'I've got the best Supreme Court advocates, lawyers, that want to argue the case, if it gets there. They said, 'It's very hard to get a case up there,' Trump added. 'Can you imagine, Donald Trump, president of the United States, files a case, and I probably can't get a case.'