After delivering an official endorsement, former President Donald Trump on Newsmax TV, praised the patriotism of Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., for taking on embattled Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an upcoming GOP primary.
"Jody Hice is a fantastic man, highly respected congressman, but he's doing this as a patriot," Trump told Monday's "Greg Kelly Reports." "It's an amazing thing. He's giving up a total positive seat. He would win it very easily, always has.
"He's giving up a very great seat in Congress in order to do this, because he loves the state of Georgia. He loves Georgia."
Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp were infamously at odds with the former president during the 2020 presidential election challenges, which included attempts to investigate allegations of election fraud and other potential ballot-counting improprieties that ultimately handed two Republican-held Georgia Senate seats to a pair of Democrats in Jan. 5 runoff elections.
"Raffensperger has not done a good job and the governor has really been missing in action," Trump told host Greg Kelly. "It's very sad, because I gave the governor an endorsement and it won him the election.
"We beat Stacey Abrams together, and that was won. I helped him a lot. I did rallies for him and everything else.
"But he didn't want to get involved in the [investigating] election fraud. He didn't want to get involved at all, and it's too bad. And Raffensperger, what he's done is a shame."
Trump also denounced the narrative he was pushing Georgia election officials to overturn the election, when his reported calls were merely seeking to probe the allegations of fraud, as opposed to manipulating the election results.
"The tape of the conservation was found," Trump said. "It was found in garbage."
Trump reiterated rare praise for oft-criticized paper The Washington Post for issuing a retraction that his words on a call to Georgia election officials to "find the fraud" were "taken out of context," as the Post ultimately admitted.
"I respect them for doing that," Trump continued. "They did a retraction of the story, because what I said was right on the tape, and it was perfecto and it was strong, and it was about love for our country."