Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Sunday rejected former President Donald Trump's argument that he should be granted legal immunity for his actions in the White House.
“My personal opinion is that no one is above the law,” Kemp told Jonathan Karl, co-host of ABC News' “This Week.”
“You know, I have continued to talk about following the law and the Constitution, and I will continue to do that in the great state of Georgia,” Kemp said.
His comments come as Trump faces four upcoming trials on 91 criminal charges. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, including in the federal case in which he claimed he participated in an illegal attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. (He has pleaded not guilty.)
Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger have both been pressured by Trump to help overturn his loss in the state this year. When they refused, they became targets of Trump's wrath — and Kemp then faced a Trump-backed primary challenger during his 2022 reelection campaign, which he won.
Kemp said on “This Week” that this victory shows how damaging it could be for conservatives to remain focused on the 2020 presidential election. It was a warning that he had also shared with other leading Republicans, he said.
“We have to tell people what we are for. We must continue to focus on the future. Stop looking in the rearview mirror. I believe the voters who will decide this presidential election are tired of hearing about it.” “We want to focus on the 2020 election and what the candidates will do for them in the coming months and years ” Kemp said, repeating earlier, veiled criticism of Trump's fixation on the final race.
“We showed in the 2022 election that if you stand up for issues and your record and tell people what you're going to do for them in the future, you can be very successful,” Kemp said, arguing that voters are looking for “ Seek leadership. during the crisis.
On Saturday, Kemp told a political conference at Washington and Lee University in Virginia that it was “pretty clear.” [voters] are not convinced about what Republicans will do if they win this November.”
When asked on “This Week” to elaborate on what he was referring to, Kemp called what he sees as “voter frustration.”
“I just think that at every level, whether it's the presidential election, there are people running for U.S. Senate, Congress, local elections, I think there's a lot of frustration among the American people about “There are politicians trying to destroy that.” “To represent the other side instead of telling people why they should vote for us,” he said.
Kemp has not yet made an endorsement in the 2024 Republican primary; Asked about the state of the election and calls for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who ran for Kemp in the 2022 midterm elections, to end her campaign after losing so far to Trump in early voting states, However, he said: “I would encourage them to keep fighting.”
“If I were the Trump campaign, I would push to get Nikki Haley out. If I were Governor Haley, I would be, you know – she has a strong sense of what she's doing and the message that she's bringing to the American people, then I would encourage her to keep fighting,” he said.
Brynn Anderson/AP, FILE
“I think you have to let the process play out,” he said.
When Kemp was asked to respond to Trump's recent comments that Haley's husband – Maj. Michael Haley, a South Carolina National Guardsman currently serving a volunteer deployment in Africa – left to escape her on the campaign trail, he said would allow Trump to “answer this question” while defending military families.
“I find it unfortunate that anyone would criticize our men and women who serve overseas, whether they are fighting overseas or doing the same thing at the border,” Kemp told Karl.
Kemp was outspoken about the situation at the southern border and criticized Biden's complete failure to address immigration issues.
Kemp was among more than a dozen Republican governors who joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the U.S.-Mexico border last week. On Sunday, Kemp criticized Congress for failing to agree on a new immigration law after many Republicans – and Trump – in the Senate opposed a bipartisan deal that would tighten border security.
“I think the people of DC should vote on policy, not what someone tells them to do. This is just my personal opinion. I will let you know that every one of the senators and representatives will weigh in on this,” Kemp said.
“But I also think that President Biden now trying to shift responsibility for the problem at the border onto Republicans is simply a lack of leadership,” he said, emphasizing the fact that Democrats have control of the legislature and the executive branch had branches from 2020 to 2022 and also did not pass any new laws.
Biden has stressed that he is taking major action to curb illegal border crossings while allowing migrants to seek humanitarian protection.
The White House has also said Congress is not helping because it will not approve more border resources amid Republican skepticism about Biden.
“People have been working on this for 10 or 20 years. Just secure the damn border, that’s what people want,” Kemp said Sunday.
“We must secure the entire southern border,” he continued. “And that requires the president.”