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Trump Says He Never Approved Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s Plan to Reopen Certain Businesses

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President Donald Trump is adamant he has never given Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) the go-ahead on certain businesses as the state partially reopens its economy.

“I (or [Mike Pence]) never gave Governor Brian Kemp an OK on those few businesses outside of the Guidelines. FAKE NEWS!” Trump tweeted.

He added, “Spas, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, and barber shops should take a little slower path, but I told the Governor to do what is right for the great people of Georgia (and USA)!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1253695275585220608

According to reports, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence did privately approve Kemp’s plan to reopen businesses.

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Trump, however, publicly voiced his disapproval at a news conference and said he told Kemp he “disagrees strongly” with his decision, as IJR previously reported.

“I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines,” Trump said. 

Kemp came out in defense of his decision to slowly begin reopening his state’s economy, as IJR previously reported.

He maintained he is basing his decision off of data and recommendations by health officials.

“For weeks now, my team has worked closely with the Trump Administration and our federal counterparts to mitigate the impact of [coronavirus] in Georgia. Our decisions and direction are informed by data and public health recommendations,” Kemp wrote.

Trump was not the only one to criticize Kemp’s decision.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) called Kemp’s decision “dangerously incompetent.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) also spoke out about Kemp’s plans.

“The president wants the country open. I want the country open. The governor wants the country open. The problem is how do you do it? And I think that’s the problem with leadership,” Collins said.

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Trump’s comments come shortly after he issued a series of tweets calling on Americans to “liberate” states with Democratic governors.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated for clarity after publication.

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