Following President Donald Trump’s Wednesday endorsement of Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to be Georgia’s next governor, a reporter is claiming that Kemp made an inappropriate comment about Trump’s “Access Hollywood” controversy in 2016.
Robert Faturechi, a reporter with ProPublica, a New York-based news site, tweeted Thursday evening and said he had watched a presidential debate at a Kansas hunting lodge with Kemp in 2016. Faturechi said Kemp did not realize he was a reporter, and Kemp joked to a room full of corporate donors and other secretaries of state that “Trump should have gone over there and groped her.”
Kemp’s spokesman Ryan Mahoney responded to the tweet on Friday.
“Is anyone surprised that a liberal reporter who aims to destroy politically incorrect conservatives like Donald Trump and Brian Kemp is making wild accusations just days before the July 24th election?” Mahoney said in an email. “It’s absolute nonsense.”
The tweet references a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape that surfaced during the 2016 election in which Trump discusses how fame enables him to grope women.
“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump says in the video. “You can do anything.”
Trump later said that his comments in the video had merely been “locker room” talk.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Kemp’s opponent in Tuesday’s runoff, tweeted Friday and said Kemp’s alleged comments had been an “inexcusable statement.”
“These disgusting remarks are far below the standard we should set,” Cagle said. “Beyond the fact that these comments are incredibly offensive, Brian has staked his campaign on the fact that he does the right thing ‘when no one is looking.’”
Kemp and Cagle will compete Tuesday to secure the Republican nomination for governor. The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.