President Trump claims he and Vice President Mike Pence, “never gave Governor Brian Kemp an OK on those few businesses outside of the Guidelines,” as the state's aggressive reopening plan begins.
“FAKE NEWS!,” Trump wrote on twitter. “Spas, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, & barber shops should take a little slower path, but I told the Governor to do what is right for the great people of Georgia (& USA)!”
CNN’s previous reporting from Jim Acosta, Kristen Holmes and Dana Bash is that Trump and Pence told Kemp via telephone that they supported his decision on reopening the state and praised his work as governor, according to a separate source with knowledge of the call.
But the President — around the time Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus task force coordinator, met with Trump — had a second call with Kemp, according to two sources familiar with the situation.
The call was brief and struck an entirely different tone than the first: Trump asked the governor to slow down his reopening plan, to which Kemp said no, according to the sources. The President said he'd call Kemp back later to discuss, but never did.
To the relief of members of the task force, Trump proceeded to say he disagreed with Kemp's decision during Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing.