Georgia’s Kemp On Trump Indictment: GOP Presidential Candidates Must Stay Focused On Key 2024 Issues
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MAY 24: Republican gubernatorial candidate Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during his primary night election party at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kemp defeated former U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) in the primary as he bids for a second term as Georgia governor.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said the federal indictment former President Donald Trump is facing is “concerning,” but also raises questions about selective prosecution by the Department of Justice and said it is ultimately a distraction from the 2024 White House and Senate races.

Kemp’s remarks came during an expansive interview with CBS News that aired Monday — ahead of Trump’s arraignment in the Southern District of Florida on 37 felony counts related to his handling of sensitive U.S. government documents after he left the White House. Kemp acknowledged there is “a lot of concerning and serious information certainly in the indictment,” but called on Republican candidates to stay focused on the future and articulate to voters their vision for the country.

“For us to win the presidential race in 2024, we don’t need to be distracted. We need to be focused on the future. We need to be telling the American people what we’re for,” Kemp said. “At the end of the day, if you don’t win, you don’t get to govern,” he said. “And we’re seeing right now in our country when you don’t win, and other people are governing, what happens. We’ve got 40-year high inflation, disaster in Afghanistan when we pulled out, a disaster at the border, a lot of uncertainty around the world.”

Kemp, who has often sparred with Trump, most recently criticized the former president for praising North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Trump’s comments, Kemp said, were an example of him straying from the issues that matter to Americans and providing Democrats with 2024 campaign fodder.

Kemp praised Trump for policies he said helped the country and in particular, Georgia, but he also said he disagreed with the former president on a lot of issues. He recalled that Trump criticized him for working to reopen Georgia’s economy and classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked about the prospect of him entering the 2024 presidential race amid increased interest from major Republican Party donors, Kemp demurred.

“I’m staying focused on Georgia and making sure that Republicans can win Georgia in 2024,” Kemp said. “And that’s really what all my political work has been focused on, not only at the national level, but also holding our strong majorities in the Georgia General Assembly.”

Kemp said that he may or may not make an endorsement in the presidential primary race ahead of the election, but said he will support Trump if he ultimately becomes the party’s nominee.

When pressed again towards the end of the interview about Trump being indicted, Kemp said that a lot of people are “really pissed off that the Justice Department has targeted certain individuals and not done anything with others.” Trump, he said, has previously been “targeted” in ways that were unfair to him, and he added that there are some “serious concerns in this indictment.”

“But at the end of the day, there’s a jury that’s going to make that decision,” he said. “And quite honestly, I think it’s a distraction politically. I think in some ways, it’s exactly what the Democrats want. They want this race to be about, you know, solely Donald Trump, they don’t want it to be about Joe Biden’s record.”


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