New texts shed light on former Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s thinking during the Georgia runoffs and Jan 6.
She told aides to make sure Trump retweeted a statement announcing her objection to the 2020 results.
But after the violence, an aide warned her to back off from objecting due to “reputational risk.”
Former Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia privately fretted about her decision to object to the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to a new batch of texts obtained and verified by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Facing a high-stakes run-off election against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock on January 5 — the results of which would determine control of the United States Senate — Loeffler and her aides reportedly worried that making any announcement could take the focus off of her opponent.
But she also faced pressure from former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies — including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — to go along with the plan.
“I believe you can’t afford to not be on it,” wrote Loeffler aide Wes Coopersmith in a January 2 text.
Loeffler ultimately released a statement on January 4 — one day before the run-off election and two days before the date that Congress was set to certify the results — announcing she would “vote to give President Trump and the American people the fair hearing they deserve” by objecting.
But the senator appeared concerned that word wouldn’t get out before a rally with Trump that evening, according to the texts.
“Please make sure Trump RTs my statement so I don’t get booed off the stage!!” she texted aides Taylor Brown and Stephen Lawson just hours before the rally.
Loeffler went on to lose the election at Warnock, ending a tenure that lasted just over a year since Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed her to the seat following the death of Sen. Johnny Isaacson.
The Georgia Republican was also one of several senators who decided to withhold their objections to the election results after the violence of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, declaring in a floor speech that the “violence” and “lawlessness” made her reconsider.
And the texts show some of the considerations she and her team weighed.
“This isn’t what we signed on to, we said we would debate and present evidence, not shoot our way through the capital,” texted aide Malorie Thompson, who also said that the objections had “gone too far.”
Another aide, Paul Fitzpatrick, warned Loeffler via text that she and her husband — Jeff Sprecher, the CEO of the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange — could face “long term reputational risk” for continuing her objection.
Loeffler spokeswoman Caitlin O’Dea told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the texts were a “desperate attempt to distract voters 20 days from the election,” but did not appear to refute their contents.
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