Kelly Loeffler cited a fictional media interview to leave a call in 2020 with Rudy Giuliani, per a new book.
According to the book "Flipped," Giuliani contended that Georgia lawmakers could overturn the 2020 election.
Despite two tough runoff battles in the state, the 2020 election continued to dominate GOP circles.
After the 2020 presidential election, Georgia Republicans faced a huge dilemma.
President-elect Joe Biden was preparing to enter the White House, but President Donald Trump continued to repeat his claims of a stolen election, zeroing in on the Peach State, a longtime conservative stronghold that had drifted into the Democratic column by roughly 12,000 votes.
In the weeks leading up to the January 2021 Georgia Senate runoff elections, state Republicans knew that then-Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler would need a unified effort to stave off Democratic enthusiasm in sweeping both races and recapturing the US Senate.
However, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — the onetime personal lawyer for Trump — was traveling across the country, whipping up conservative lawmakers and Republican activists with unfounded claims of "evidence" pointing to a nefarious national election result built on fraudulent votes.
Shortly before the runoff elections, Giuliani held a meeting with Georgia Senate Republicans where he continued to speak about the 2020 results, despite the federal impending races that would have consequential implications for the party, according to a new book by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution political reporter Greg Bluestein.
Loeffler — who was on the private conference call with the Georgia lawmakers — reportedly made up an excuse to leave the conversation after spending some time listening to Giuliani, which Bluestein recounted in "Flipped: How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power."
Giuliani, similar to Trump, tried to make the case that the Georgia legislature could overturn the election results, but Republican Gov. Brian Kemp summarily rejected the idea of calling a special session to pursue such a plan, which incensed the then-president and many of his most fervent supporters.
"At this private conference call, Giuliani told the senators that they didn't even need a special session — they could unilaterally overturn the election," the book said. "As he droned on, Loeffler invented a reason to duck out after twenty minutes, citing a nonexistent media interview. A few minutes later, Perdue also got off the line."
A Loeffler aide advisor told Bluestein that aides were "putting out fires" affecting the Senate campaign each day.
All the while, Trump was continuing to pressure the state's Republican leadership — which included Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — to help invalidate Biden's victory.
In December 2020, Loeffler and Perdue both issued a statement of support for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's lawsuit that asked the US Supreme Court to invalidate the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The move would put them squarely within Trump's camp as dependable allies.
In the period between the November general election and the January runoffs, the efforts by Trump, Giuliani, and other high-profile presidential associates to nullify Biden's victory dominated the news cycle, but Democrats were focusing on their turnout efforts and engaging with potential voters who had met the December 7, 2020, registration deadline to cast a ballot in the upcoming races.
"As they watched the GOP civil war intensify, the Democratic campaigns couldn't deny a wash of optimism that the stars were aligning in their favor," the book said.
While Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were barnstorming the state discussing the economy and health care, the pre-election rallies that Trump held for Loeffler and Kemp continued to relitigate the presidential election.
When the election results for the January runoffs came in, Warnock and Ossoff emerged as the victors, with a marked decline in many pro-Trump rural counties, a devastating blow to the Republican senatorial duo.
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