Georgia’s GOP governor to defy Trump after ‘tense’ White House meeting

In an attempt to win back women who've abandoned the GOP in recent years, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp plans to appoint financial executive Kelly Loeffler to a US Senate seat next week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The move contradicts the wishes of President Trump and others in the GOP, who pushed for the appointment of Trump loyalist U.S. Rep. Doug Collins. The appointment is intended to fill the seat of Republican Johnny Isakson, who is stepping down due to health issues.

Speaking to AJC, Collins said he's "strongly" considering running for the Senate seat if he's not picked.

According to Kemp's supporters, Loeffler, a first-time candidate, can help win back suburban women who have left a party "that’s dominated by white male elected officials." However, some conservative leaders are pushing back hard against Loeffler's appointment, citing her past contributions to Democrats and her less-than-conservative positions on issues such as gun rights and abortion.

A report from The Wall Street Journal earlier this week cited a private meeting at the White House this Sunday between Trump and Kemp, which ultimately turned "tense" due to Kemp's preference of Loeffler over Collins.

Trying to tamp down worries that she's not sufficiently pro-Trump, Loeffler wrote a letter to Kemp, saying, "If chosen, I will stand with President Trump, Senator David Perdue, and you to Keep America Great."

In a Twitter post this Wednesday, Kemp wrote that the idea "that I would appoint someone to the U.S. Senate that is NOT pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-freedom, and 100% supportive of our President (and his plan to Keep America Great) is ridiculous."