ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp sued the city of Atlanta over its face-mask requirement just after President Donald Trump arrived in the city without wearing a mask, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Friday.
In an interview on CBS “This Morning,” Bottoms questioned the timing of the lawsuit filed shortly after Trump’s Wednesday visit to the city, calling the litigation “really odd.”
“I pointed out that Donald Trump violated that order when he landed at our airport and did not wear a mask," she said.
She said Kemp “is a Trump loyalist and he seems to work very hard to please the president of the United States, and that is often at the expense of the people in our state.”
Asked whether she thinks Trump encouraged Kemp to file the lawsuit, she said she couldn’t speak about whatever conversations they had.
But she added that Trump "was violating the rules of our city in just a blatant disregard for the science.”
Kemp defended the lawsuit during a press conference Friday morning, accusing Atlanta officials of playing politics and not enforcing state orders already in effect. Kemp said the lawsuit was filed “on behalf of business owners, their employees and hardworking Georgians throughout the region who continue to struggle to make ends meet.”
“Mayor Bottoms mask mandate cannot be enforced, but her decision to shutter businesses and undermine economic growth is devastating,” the Republican governor added.
Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, in a state court suit filed late Thursday, argued that Bottoms has overstepped her authority and must obey Kemp’s executive orders under state law.
Kemp’s order has been met with defiance by Bottoms and the mayors of other Georgia cities, who said they would continue enforcing their mandates and were prepared to go to court.