- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 30, 2019

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida took aim Friday at Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia amid both Republicans being at odds over the latter’s selection for a soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat.

Mr. Gaetz called out Mr. Kemp on Twitter following reports that he intends to tap financial executive Kelly Loeffler to succeed Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican, over President Trump’s preferred candidate.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Gaetz took issue with Mr. Kemp leaning toward Ms. Loeffler in lieu of Rep. Doug Collins, another Georgia Republican reportedly favored for the position by Mr. Trump.

“You are ignoring his request because you THINK you know better than @POTUS,” Mr. Gaetz tweeted. “If you substitute your judgement [sic] for the President’s, maybe you need a primary in 2022. Let’s see if you can win one w/o Trump.”

“You are hurting President Trump,” Mr. Gaetz said in another tweet. “You know this because he told you.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Mr. Kemp and Ms. Loeffler recently met at the White House to discuss the Senate vacancy, but that it “turned tense and ended quickly” amid a discussion in which the president is said to have lobbied for Mr. Collins, a four-term congressman who along with Mr. Gaetz are among the president’s most vocal defenders on Capitol Hill.

“The idea that I would appoint someone to the U.S. Senate that is NOT pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-freedom, and 100% supportive of our President (and his plan to Keep America Great) is ridiculous,” Mr. Kemp tweeted afterward. “The attacks and games are absolutely absurd. Frankly, I could care less what the political establishment thinks.”

Mr. Kemp, Georgia’s former secretary of state, was elected governor last November and has been in office since January. His press secretary did not immediately return a request over the weekend requesting comment.

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