Allies of President Donald Trump are concerned by the likely appointment of Kelly Loeffler to an open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia.
Brian Kemp, the Peach State’s Republican governor, is expected to announce Loeffler on Wednesday morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Loeffler’s purported ties to Planned Parenthood and donations to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid have sparked criticism from many conservatives who accuse the businesswoman and first-time candidate of being a “RINO.”
Loeffler co-owns the Atlanta Dream, a team in the Women’s National Basketball Association.
The WNBA openly supports Planned Parenthood and runs a program, “Take a Seat, Take a Stand,” which allows fans to donate a portion of ticket sales to one of six organizations, Planned Parenthood among them.
The Atlanta Dream have promoted “Take a Seat, Take a Stand” in the past.
Some conservative media figures and politicians have slammed Kemp’s plan to pick Loeffler, echoing the sentiments made by many core Trump supporters.
“How dare @BrianKempGA betray the good people of Georgia and President Trump who helped him win by attempting to seat a planned parenthood RINO as Senator. This is disgraceful!” tweeted one such Trump supporter.
Sean Hannity expressed doubt that Loeffler was a “conservative” during his eponymous radio show on Monday.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a staunch Republican ally of the president in Congress, accused Kemp of betraying Trump with an “undesirable Senate pick thinking it satisfies consultants/donors.”
Conservative firebrand Mark Levin has also pushed back on Kemp.
Looks like Georgia Governor Kemp is another Romney. He’s about to appoint a RINO to the Senate. His surrogates are trashing conservative critics like Gaetz. https://t.co/k7BNJAlPwO
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) December 1, 2019
Gaetz, Hannity and Levin have instead backed Rep. Doug Collins, a stalwart supporter of the president, for the Senate seat to be vacated by Johnny Isakson.
Trump has pushed Kemp to appoint Collins to the empty seat, the Journal-Constitution reported last month.